engaging students with primary sources supports inquiry-based learning, hands-on exploration of meaning, and inquisitive habits of mind. Rockenbach’s experiences with advancing the use of special collections in the classroom highlighted the aggressive outreach to faculty that this requires and the importance of promoting special collections as teaching space. Shreeves discussed UIUC’s living-learning project, Ethnography of the University, which requires students to employ archival research in analyzing issues in the academic environment they inhabit. Shreeves noted that using archives and publishing in the institutional repository helps students better understand the implications of their original research and the modern research cycle, and that assessments show that students feel more engaged than they do in other class work. Greene described another successful approach in which innovative teaching grants from the American Heritage Center are given to faculty to build undergraduate courses around primary sources. Alignment is not limited to fostering curricular engagement. The value of special collections can be greatly enhanced by engaging the learning concerns of broader communities. Special collections can provide intense personal connections for some users. Ian Wilson and Fred Heath reminded the audience that a broader constituency can play a key role in generating support for an institution’s mission, whether that constituency is a group of genealogists or human rights advocates. Josh Greenberg gave the example of the unexpected turnout of hundreds of New Yorkers to the New York Public Library’s Design by the Book debut video-screening party to learn about book arts. Clough spoke of reaching over 4,000 people through the Smithsonian’s offering of free, educational, collection-oriented webinars. If the core mission of the research library is to advance knowledge, special collections play a critical role in advancing inquiry at a most basic level. As special collections increasingly move to the center of the research library, activities and resources that increase their accessibility must be mainstreamed. Assets, skills, and talents across the institution can be leveraged to expose distinctive collections alongside other information resources. Speakers noted RLI 267 13 Moving Special Collections Forward in an Age of Discovery: Themes from the ARL-CNI Forum ( C O N T I N U E D ) DECEMBER 2009 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC Listen to Ian Wilson describe how special collections offer leadership opportunities in the e-world. [4 min.] http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/rli-267-wilson.mp3
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