132  ·  Representative Documents:  Regional Accrediting Agency Reports
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Institutional Self-Study Prepared for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Chapter 7:
Library and Other Information Resources
Chapter 7: Library and Other Information Resources
Chapter 7 Page 86
Group. Locally, key partnerships with the Boston Library Consortium and the Harvard Libraries provide
important professional relationships for MIT Libraries staff and valued resource-sharing benefits to
faculty and students.
Within MIT, the Libraries’ collaboration extends beyond the obvious core relationships developed with
departments, centers, and laboratories through its service model. Working with Information Services and
Technology, the Office of Educational Innovation and Technology, and OpenCourseWare, the Libraries
provide leadership for the ACCORD initiative. ACCORD is designed to ensure that all campus providers
of academic computing services work together in a cohesive and transparent manner to offer faculty and
students seamless and responsive service. One initiative is the development of the Image Services website
(web.mit.edu/teachtech/image.html), which provides a convenient, comprehensive list of various tools
and services available for acquiring and using digital images. the design of new infrastructure and process
workflow to support the key services that support the course content lifecycle—such as Stellar, OCW, and
DSpace. Other ongoing initiatives include designing new infrastructure and workflow processes;
clarifying the procedures for obtaining academic software; and reviewing policies and procedures relating
to video production and management for courses.
The Libraries also participate in MIT’s Council on Educational Technology, which oversees educational-
technology policy; the Information Technology Strategic Planning and Resources Coordinating Council,
which functions as the strategic coordinating body for information technology at MIT; and the
Information Technology Architecture Group, which sets directions and makes recommendations for the
Institute’s information-technology infrastructure. Finally, the Libraries work closely with the associate
provost and vice president for research, and with the MIT Press and Technology Review, to develop
strategies for supporting the extended educational and research mission of MIT.
The Libraries’ programs and financial planning in the years ahead will be affected by (1) the Institute-
wide Energy and Environmental Initiatives; (2) the recommendations of the Task Force on the
Undergraduate Educational Commons; and (3) MIT’s growing international programs. Areas of future
attention will include ongoing investments in library collections, contract complexities resulting from
international collaborations, orientation programs for international students and visitors, tools for
teaching, and technical infrastructure for the global delivery of education.
In fall 2008, the MIT Libraries initiated a planning process to consider options for revising their
organizational structure. The expanded leadership of the Libraries believes that the MIT Libraries must
realign in order to design and deliver information services that are based on the needs of a broadly
networked interdisciplinary community. The initial phase of this effort—defining the desired future
state—is well under way. An added sense of urgency to redesign the Libraries’ organization has resulted
from the Institute’s current fiscal challenges. The Libraries will need to be creative and resourceful to
continue supporting MIT’s mission with reduced resources.
Digital Library Program requirements
The MIT Libraries have focused their digital library research interests primarily on the “born digital”
aspects of information production, stewardship, and long-term preservation. To this end, the Libraries’
digital library efforts are concentrated in such areas as tools development (Vera), digital archive
functionality (addressing topics such as DSpace@MIT, MIT theses, and the MIT Press), information
interoperability in the Web environment, and preservation strategies for proprietary works such as 3-D
computer-aided-design systems. Donors have recently stepped forward to fund the digitization of portions
of the Libraries’ rare and unusual collections; these and other works are being scanned for inclusion in the
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