SPEC Kit 324: Collecting Global Resources · 19
Survey Questions and Responses
The SPEC survey on Collecting Global Resources was designed by Wookjin Cheun, Librarian for Slavic and
East European Studies, Marion Frank-Wilson, Librarian for African Studies and Head of the Area Studies
Department, Luis A. González, Librarian for Latin American Studies, Spanish &Portuguese, and Latino
Studies, Akram Khabibullaev, Librarian for Middle Eastern, Islamic, and Central Eurasian Studies, Wen-
Ling Liu, Librarian for East Asian Studies, Andrea Singer, Librarian for Foreign Government Information
and India and Tibetan Studies, and Noa Wahrman, Jewish Studies Collection Manager and Bibliographer,
at Indiana University Bloomington. These results are based on data submitted by 72 respondents at 67
of the 126 ARL member libraries (53%) by the deadline of April 8, 2011. The survey’s introductory text
and questions are reproduced below, followed by the response data and selected comments from the
While global resources have long been an important collection focus for large research libraries in the US and Canada, the topic
has taken on increased significance as more emphasis has been given to research both in traditional area studies disciplines and in
international studies across all fields.
Collection managers working with global resources face a number of complex situations. They have to balance their libraries’ move
towards heavier reliance on electronic sources with the reality that many resources in their world areas only exist in print. They need
to stay informed about new trends in electronic publishing in their respective world areas, while keeping track of developments in
the print world. They must have strong subject backgrounds in their disciplines and be conversant in current technology trends. Also,
the discourse has shifted recently towards a larger view of “collections as service.” Collections are no longer regarded as an end in
themselves, but rather as a way to provide better service to library users. In this context, there is a growing awareness among library
administrators and librarians that collecting global resources needs to be combined with intense liaison and outreach activities that
will help users access the resources.
In response to the complex framework and context for collecting global resources, research libraries are in the process of
implementing new models and frameworks that will have an impact on collections of global resources for the foreseeable future.
The purpose of this survey is to identify trends, practices, and challenges in collecting global resources in ARL member libraries at a
time of political and economic change and of significant changes in scholarly communication and collection management strategies.
It explores collection focus and expenditure trends staff organization selection, acquisition, preservation, and discovery strategies
public service and outreach activities and measures taken to overcome challenges.
For this survey, global resources are defined as print and electronic library materials that are published outside the United States and
Canada in any language on any topic. This may include but is not limited to traditional area studies materials, and it is not limited
to resources typically associated with the field of Global Studies. Global resources librarians are defined as librarians working with
global resources as described in this survey.
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