Libraries at academic research institutions support a community of student and faculty scholars with in-depth information about a wide variety of topics. These libraries face unique challenges to making research accessible to all users, including concerns about copyrights, open-access scholarship, electronic and special collections maintenance and disambiguation of researchers. OCLC supports these libraries in their efforts to advance scholarly study through services that simplify their workflows and through library-focused research and initiatives.
Collaborate with other libraries to inspire change
Keio University houses many rare and fragile manuscripts that the librarians have worked hard to preserve. Unfortunately, this preservation too often made the items unavailable to researchers who could learn from them. After collaborating with other libraries and OCLC Research, the librarians learned how others balance these needs and made positive changes to their special collections.
Create a 24/7 library, no matter the weather
The University Libraries at the University of Washington supports its users around the clock, even through a snow storm that closed campus for two full days. During that time, a team of librarians handled 350 questions for library users, who were grateful to have access to the library despite the weather.
Free up time to work on special collections
McGill University faced a huge backlog of collections, including rare and foreign-language material. With some help, the library was able not only to clear the backlog but also to streamline processes for new acquisitions. Now, items go to the shelves more quickly, students have more resources at hand and catalogers spend their time on more challenging and rewarding work.
Save unique, at-risk digital content
Getting started with born-digital archives is a complex task. The technical skills needed to preserve punched cards, magnetic tape, floppy disks, CDs, DVDs, Zip drives, hard drives and other digital media are often daunting. Cooperative library research provided the UCLA Library and other institutions with a way to break down the challenge into more easily manageable activities.
Automate e-resource management
Library staff at University of Maryland, College Park were faced with an ever-growing volume of electronic collections. Better workflows and access to a cooperative knowledge base allowed them to automate many tasks associated with managing e-books. The result? More than 462,000 new e-books, searchable and accessible to students, in just one year.
Quickly clear out cataloging backlogs
The University of Texas at Austin had to reduce its staff of foreign language cataloging experts, which resulted in a large backlog of books, CDs and DVDs in languages without Latin characters. The library got short-term help eliminating the backlog so the materials could be made available to students and faculty.
Track research activity for regional reporting
Australian universities must prepare reports of each researcher's annual output for federal funding decisions and benchmarking efforts. Many larger universities find the task of asking each researcher to describe output difficult and time consuming. Librarians at La Trobe University, however, are working on a way to provide dynamic profiles for every researcher with minimal effort.