The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) have released a report on the 2019 ARL-CNI Fall Forum, Research Libraries as Catalytic Leaders in a Society in Constant Flux.
As universities and other learning environments evolve to accommodate the needs and learning styles of their users, changes are evident in methods of knowledge production, dissemination, and access. These evolutions present an opportunity for libraries, both to evolve for today and plan for future change.
The 2019 ARL-CNI Fall Forum brought together leaders of research institutions, research support services, and research libraries from across Canada and the United States. Keynote speaker Jaron Lanier, a computer scientist, composer, artist, and author, discussed two unique opportunities for research libraries as catalytic leaders: as the keepers of context and as the last space in which people learn through manipulation-free curiosity.
Written by ARL executive director Mary Lee Kennedy and funded by EBSCO Information Services, the ARL-CNI Fall Forum report summarises the presentations of the keynote speaker and panelists, highlights specific breakout discussions, and outlines a set of shared recommendations around four themes: Libraries as strategic institutions in societal flux; Emerging opportunities for research libraries as collaborative partners in the changing research and learning ecosystem; New forms of reality to advance research integrity and learning; and Next generation organizations, skills, and competencies needed for research libraries.
In her introduction to the report, ARL president Lorraine Haricombe poses a series of questions for librarians to ponder as they plan for change in the context of artificially intelligent software, automation, and large-scale demographic shifts. Haricombe concludes that “embracing the role of catalyst requires embedding renewal from within. It also requires investing resources toward systematizing the kind of innovation that will further accelerate the pace of change.” The Fall Forum report, she says, aims to “offer a valuable resource of ideas for libraries as connectors, collaborators, and networks that will set out a clear road map for engagement and communication between the library and the communities it serves.”
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