Message from the President
May 2016 marked the 60th anniversary of CLIR’s founding as the Council on Library Resources (CLR). Over six decades, our projects and programs have evolved with a remarkable continuity of mission and focus. CLIR’s founders held that collective action and collaborative processes were necessary to resolve the looming complexities of academic information in the mid 1950s, which included multi-institutional collection sharing, large-scale preservation of deteriorating resources, and methods to manage the proliferation of new media as an aspect of cultural curation.
Today we grapple with many of these same challenges, but in a markedly different environment. While CLIR’s founding vision continues to animate our programs, the organization has evolved in important ways:
- Expanding our role in exploring and promoting digital technology as a transformational means of organizing academic knowledge. DLF exemplifies that impulse and continues to grow.
- Significantly increasing geographical reach. Our collaborative ventures, award and fellowship recipients, Board members, and advisors span the planet.
- Diversifying collaborators. While CLR’s original focus was on academic libraries, our constituencies today include archives, museums, historical societies, and national and international digital projects.
- Adopting social justice as a tenet of our mission. We believe that all digital libraries and projects must strive to increase our capacity to understand our world and ourselves, acknowledge the regenerative properties of an honest question, and insist that knowledge be accessible and open to all, while celebrating the sweep and depth of human curiosity.
This year’s annual report provides abundant evidence of this evolution. We are deeply grateful to our sponsors and funders for their continued support of our work. On this anniversary, we also acknowledge our debt to CLIR’s visionary founders while working for those generations hence who will inherit our best intentions.
Charles Henry, March 2017