CLIR Appoints Hannah Standing Rasmussen as Research Fellow for the Committee on Coherence at Scale for Higher Education

Contact: Kathlin Smith


Washington, DC, September 30, 2014-The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has appointed Hannah Standing Rasmussen research fellow for the Committee on Coherence at Scale for Higher Education. Rasmussen was formerly a CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow in Knowledge and Library Services at Harvard Business School.

The year-long fellowship is among the activities funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through a planning grant to inform a five-year roadmap for the Committee on Coherence. Rasmussen will focus her research on business models for operating analog repositories more coherently and efficiently at a larger scale. She will develop a series of business options and conduct cost-benefit analyses for one or more of the options that take into account both tangible and intangible costs and benefits. She will then develop an agile governance structure for the chosen option.

“Libraries are, often quietly, developing repositories on their own,” said Rasmussen. “They are investing in infrastructure and staff, and making hard decisions about what items to keep and where to keep them. Making these decisions and investments at scale, with the support of other libraries, could mean that it’s done better, more openly, and more economically.”

“The Committee on Coherence at Scale was established to support the concept of, and necessary expertise to develop, a new digital ecosystem for education by unifying several very large-scale projects under development,” said CLIR President Chuck Henry. “These projects in aggregate represent the multiple aspects of the cycle of academic knowledge organization. Hannah Rasmussen’s work is a critical element of that planning. With a rigorous understanding of the current and long-term costs of our collecting and storing activities pertaining to printed books and journals, the committee can better articulate the investment needed to migrate to a robust, coherent digital environment.”

The strategic roadmap and five-year plan for the committee will be published in early 2016.

Rasmussen holds an MLIS and a PhD in management. As a CLIR fellow at Harvard Business School, she performed user needs analysis for digital scholarship and theoretical development of the role of the librarian in the 3.0 library. She also worked on the research data management team to develop a cost-effective program that met the needs of both the researchers and the school.

CLIR and Vanderbilt University established the Committee on Coherence at Scale for Higher Education in October 2012. The committee’s charge is to examine emerging national-scale digital projects and their potential to help transform higher education in terms of scholarly productivity, teaching, cost-efficiency, and sustainability. The Committee currently comprises 21 members, representing university and college presidents and provosts, heads of national education associations and other organizations, and library and iSchool deans. CLIR recently released a brief video explaining the aims of the Committee on Coherence.

CLIR is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning. It aims to promote forward-looking collaborative solutions that transcend disciplinary, institutional, professional, and geographic boundaries in support of the public good.