promising example of this has been the creation of the Center for Primary
Research and Training6 within Library Special Collections. With more than
100 graduate students who have been engaged in processing previously
“hidden” collections since the center’s establishment in 2004, we have a solid
track record of the contributions these students can make, and they have also
had real experience in working with and handling primary source materials.
Increasingly the center engages faculty support and involvement and brings
language and subject expertise to the library that we could never employ on a
long-term basis. We expect that a number of theses and dissertations will result
from what students find and learn while working in the center. I have also
funded an initiative within Web Services to bring several graduate students
aboard to explore potential library applications of social networking
technologies. We are beginning to see the potential of tapping this kind of
talent on the campus, and their presence contributes to a better understanding
of what students expect from us.
Conclusion
We know that we will be different, but I do not define the UCLA Library as
“sparsely staffed, highly decentralized, and a physical plant consisting of little
more than special collections and study areas.” When we open our renovated
space in the Research Library next spring, the research commons will have
collaborative space with the Center for Digital Humanities for a cultural heritage
laboratory. We will reach out to build new partnerships and collaborations that
bring faculty and students into our space to create new knowledge, discover our
collections in new ways, and interact with our academic staff librarians as
partners in that journey.
My vision for the UCLA Library does not sustain a static organization, but a
library that engages and develops. At UC the shared activities that might be
managed by the Office of the President in the future should not focus on
temporal consolidations of systemwide library space or services. These efforts
need to be campus-based and address campus priorities. Our collaboration
should strengthen, not diminish, our capacity in meeting the challenges inherent
in “restructuring.” This direction is reflected in UCLA Library’s living planning
documents and new campus collaborations.
As I finish this paper, the UC system is planning a task force study to
“recommend the systemwide strategies and investments that the University
RLI 272
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Restructuring at UCLA Library
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C O N T I N U E D
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OCTOBER 2010 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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