President’s Message

decorativeIt is a pleasure to introduce you to CLIR’s new web page. The redesign allows for easier navigation of our many programs and projects and conveys both the distinct elements of our various undertakings as well as the mission that weaves them into a coherent body of work: enhancing teaching, research, and learning environments; fostering sustainable communities of practice; and promoting knowledge access and preservation as a salient human right. The new site features greater editing capabilities, a standardized approach to displaying text and images, and a much-improved ability to publish in foreign languages, in response to CLIR’s increasing international reach.

The redesign of our website is representative of another important pivot in CLIR’s history. Over the years CLIR’s efforts have evolved into longer-term, more iteratively maturing ventures. We seek to engage an ever-widening audience with a goal of enriching the sweep of cultural assets available to our constituencies as a public good. We are explicit in wanting to influence the collective behaviors, politics, and technological advancements that can contribute to a more sustainable intellectual environment. Projects such as the Digitization of Hidden Collections; the postdoctoral fellowships in data curation, which now encompass more than 20 academic disciplines; and the Digital Library of the Middle East all require years of execution in order to help reshape and invigorate our inherited academic milieu. Inculcating standards and applications is essential to sharing and augmenting resources, promoting collaborative action, and engaging interests across generations. These goals, simply put, take time.

We recently celebrated our 60th anniversary, noting the lengthy roster of achievements and aspirations that marked our sojourn from the mid-twentieth century into the twenty-first. Within our focus of longer-term change and efficacy of mission, we can more easily envision working toward our next landmark: CLIR’s 75th. Not simply a temporal notch, our florescence across another decade and a half is requisite to our vision. Too often our society, including higher education, turns to single-minded solutions, catch phrases, and easy formulas to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. At CLIR we hold fast to the belief that genuine, lasting change is a product of interdependence among many types of individuals and institutions: a rigorous alliance of and reliance on one another to counter the costly competition and redundant siloes of effort that have characterized our professional workplace.

In this respect, our new web page serves as an animated means to facilitate extended cooperation, providing guidelines and examples for logically federating and sustaining our vast resources, fostering a more cohesive, complex social network of innovation and experimentation—an evolving, lively preamble to our 75th year.

– Charles Henry
November 2017