Association of Research Libraries
Research Library Issues 291 — 2017
between the primary documents and the published or presented
secondary source. Combining expertise could facilitate opportunities
for students or other researchers to apply an integrative approach to
exhibit creation. For instance, in an exhibit narrative, incorporating a
variety of sources as part of the exhibition could illustrate the sources’
interdependence and interplay. The research process, for example,
could be explored via a professor’s notes, a laboratory notebook,
or other manuscript materials, coupled with published works and
findings from those research notes and manuscripts, as well as
criticism, interpretation, extrapolation, teaching notes, and student
reinterpretation of that single original scholarly work. A collaborative
approach to exhibition work can also lend itself to fostering digital
scholarship projects and other multimodal scholarly expression, that
include librarians as equal partners with faculty, students, and other
researchers from outside the immediate academic community.
Envisioning Holistic, Integrative Special and General Collections
In our vision, the services, collections, research, and teaching across
library departments are integrated in a manner that represents
and mirrors the process of and approach to academic scholarship.
Users can more easily discover and access both general and special
collections, facilitating their use in academic conversations and,
paving the way for more creative, interdisciplinary connections.
This seamless access leads to an increase in more creative course
design, scholarly output, and professional relationships between
faculty and students. These benefits might not occur without
users experiencing a cohesive fabric of collections access, research
consultation, instruction, and interdepartmental partnership.
Special collections librarians and liaison librarians as stewards of
their respective collections have a shared understanding of what
the other does in their day-to-day work. Being knowledgeable
of each other’s job responsibilities and practices allows them to,