RLI 267 10 Moving Special Collections Forward in an Age of Discovery: Themes from the ARL-CNI Forum Lisa R. Carter, Head, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries and Visiting Program Officer for the ARL Special Collections Working Group Tcollections provide to engage users and realize the teaching, learning,his year’s ARL-CNI Fall Forum, “An Age of Discovery: DistinctiveCollections in the Digital Age,” highlighted the opportunities special and research missions of libraries and universities. Two hundred library directors and special collections librarians and archivists gathered at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC on October 15–16, 2009, to consider the value proposition of and innovation possibilities inherent in collections of rare books, archives, and other unique materials. The forum was based on the extensive and cumulative work of the ARL Special Collections Working Group and, specifically, its recent discussion report, Special Collections in ARL Libraries.1 Scholars, archivists, librarians and teachers spoke passionately about the value of special collections; how collaborations and integrating special collections into the enterprise can promote their use, garner them increased attention, and provide additional resources; how students develop life-long learning and research skills working with rare materials; and what issues are more prominent now that many of our distinctive collections are available, and even born, digitally. Presentations and recordings from the forum are available from the ARL Web site.2 Several themes recurred throughout the forum, suggesting areas for future exploration, effort, and emphasis, including: 1. Use Drives Special Collections Activity 2. Special Collections Are Central to the Academic Enterprise 3. Digital and Collaboration are Necessary DECEMBER 2009 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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