Approaching an Entity Crisis: Reconceiving Research Libraries in a Multi-institutional Context

Anne R. Kenney

Carl A. Kroch University Librarian
Cornell University

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

8:30-9:00 a.m.
Coffee and Pastry Reception

9:00-10:30 a.m.
Presentation and Discussion

OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.
Kilgour Building—Auditorium
6565 Kilgour Place
Dublin, OH 43017-3395

This presentation is free and open to the public.

A recent report from the Council on Library and Information Resources, titled No Brief Candle, recommended that the research library be "redefined as a multi-institutional entity." The worldwide economic crisis lends urgency to that recommendation and prompted the Association of Research Libraries to devote its May meeting to encouraging inter-institutional collaboration. Compounding the economic realities, advances in technology and mass digitization are rapidly minimizing constraints of distance and challenging the value of heavily redundant content and processes at standalone libraries. This presentation builds on Anne's participation on a panel discussion at the ARL meeting on redefining libraries as multi-institutional entities. It begins with four assumptions designed to provoke the issue, suggests four major areas for building highly integrated relationships, and ends with a description of the proposed partnership between the libraries at Cornell and Columbia universities.

Background Information

Anne R. Kenney is the Carl A. Kroch University Librarian at Cornell University, overseeing one of the top-ten research libraries in North America, with 20 constituent libraries located in Ithaca, Geneva (N.Y.), New York City and Doha (Qatar). Kenney is known internationally for her pioneering work in developing standards for digitizing library materials. A co-author of three award-winning books and over 50 scholarly articles and reports, Anne is most proud of the fact that one of her recipes was included in a recent Moosewood Collective cook book. She is also a fellow and past president of the Society of American Archivists, serves on the Social Science Research Council's Committee on Libraries and Archives of Cuba, and was a commissioner of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the funding arm of the National Archives. Earlier, she served as a member of the Clinton/Gore presidential transition team. She has consulted and given invited talks on all continents save Antarctica. When not at her desk in the Library, Anne is an avid hiker (summited Mount Kilimanjaro in February 2008, tackling Patagonia in November 2009) and a humble piano player.

Additional Information

Cornell University Library

Anne Kenney University Librarian

No Brief Candle: Reconceiving Research Libraries for the 21st Century

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