SPEC Kit 324: Collecting Global Resources · 49
The librarians here will need to concentrate more on electronic content both for print and for serials. They will also need
to look more closely at digital collections of material.
The main assumptions that come with the future of Area Studies and/or Interdisciplinary Studies librarianship nationally
and Americanist subject librarianship at UNM are: 1) To use a cliché: “Think globally and act locally” has a place in the
future of Area Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies librarianship. Generally speaking, many institutions are consolidating
Area Studies resources and services, due in part to fewer personal reserves and also to increased emphasis on digitally
or electronically available resources. UNM is no exception. 2) While the 2.0 environment facilitates a more efficient and
global transfer of resources, it also requires additional management and organization on the ground to ensure that
opportunities for instruction, multi-institutional collaboration, and outreach keep the environment vibrant and functional
while also keeping local communities engaged with multi-dimensional resources and organizations. This requires
increasing face-to-face interaction with students, professors, and researchers at home and abroad and knowledge
of non-library as well as library resources. Our LAS liaison is addressing these areas. 3) It should go without saying,
particularly in terms of noted research collections, that initiatives to digitize collections for preservation will increase
rapidly and will become increasingly collaborative, calling on inter-institutional and intra-institutional collaborations
where they had been avoided previously, either because of structural obstacles or because of competitive status. Case in
point: members of regional Latin American Library associations are less interested in competing institution to institution
than they are in making sure they collaborate on programs that enable each institution to build and share their most
prized collections. As a major research collection, UNM is engaging not only with the Distributed Recourse Group
through CRL but also informally with regional organizations.
The role of our librarians has not yet changed to any appreciable degree.
The role of the one librarian who collects any appreciable number of global resources is not changing in any way that is
specific to global resources. The librarian who does this work is one of several liaison librarians and the way their role is
changing is consistent with changes for all liaison librarians.
The Slavic librarian has become drawn into doing archival work, collecting Slavic-Canadian archival materials. Some of
the librarians have become involved in digitization projects. Greater emphasis is being put on outreach and the use of
new mobile technologies. More time identifying free scholarly resources on the web.
This is from the East Asian Studies librarian: I spend most of my day attached to my computer. Much collection
development involves learning about and teaching people how to use freely available materials. More instruction and
less cataloging.
We are just beginning to explore ways of being more aware of our faculty’s needs in the digital realm, both as digital
content creators and users, the e-book market outside the US.
We are now expected to act as “liaisons” to departments, such that we: educate faculty on scholarly communication
and copyright issues provide more user education, to classes and individuals create LibGuides and other tools to
help users find resources in our areas recruit content for our institutional repository stay abreast of changes in how
younger students and scholars use electronic information in an increasingly mobile environment. Our main area is still in
collecting print materials, but with the increase in electronic publications, the e-collection increase proportionally in the
We are spending more time on acquiring digital content. For many world areas, this requires active engagement with
publishers to negotiate for appropriate pricing, delivery, and archiving practices. Publishers are not always attuned to
standard requirements in our libraries. We are also aware of growing born-digital content and are actively developing
strategies for collecting and preserving such resources. We have strong global resource collecting programs and as other
institutions cut back, we are increasingly bearing the responsibility of serving the broader research communities.
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