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Report Examines New Roles for Research Library

subject: CLIR
research library
no brief candle

CLIR Press Releases

For Immediate Release: September 4, 2008

Kathlin Smith

Report Examines New Roles for Research Library

Washington, D.C.—What are the critical functions of the research library in a quickly changing information landscape? In February 2008, CLIR convened 25 leading librarians, publishers, faculty members, and information technology specialists to consider this question and has published their findings in No Brief Candle: Reconceiving Research Libraries for the 21st Century.

To prepare for the meeting discussion, CLIR asked eight of the participants to share their perspectives on the future library in brief essays. These essays, by Paul Courant, Andrew Dillon, Rick Luce, Stephen Nichols, Daphnée Rentfrow, Abby Smith, Kate Wittenberg, and Lee Zia, are included in the report, following a summary of the discussion itself.

The breadth of discussion underscored that the future of the research library cannot be considered apart from the future of the academy as a whole. Participants identified trends that are already influencing this future, including a rise in cross-disciplinary research and collaborative projects in the humanities as well as in the sciences, and an increase in research that involves scholars as well as graduate students and undergraduates.

The report includes a series of recommendations to higher education leaders suggesting strategy and actions that will help the research library evolve in step with changes in the scholarly environment, and support and strengthen the mission of our educational institutions.

No Brief Candle: Reconceiving Research Libraries for the 21st Century is available electronically at Print copies are available for ordering through CLIR’s Web site, for $20 per copy plus shipping and handling.

The Council on Library and Information Resources is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the management of information for research, teaching, and learning. CLIR works to expand access to information, however recorded and preserved, as a public good.

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