in the higher education community and you have a perfect storm for confusion and lack of consensus about what the future research library workforce should or will look like. Paraphrasing from the aforementioned Herman Miller report: “The diversity of ethnicities, experiences, ages, income, and expectations of [researchers] create opportunities for libraries to be equally diverse in their management of spaces, delivery of services, [and composition of personnel.]”2 Therefore, the research library of today must task itself with developing a workforce with the skills and competencies to further the mission of the institution, whether serving an academic community or public constituency. The library must develop this vital workforce in anticipation of evolving research practice of users in traditional and emerging domains of scholarly inquiry, rapidly changing behavior in seeking and evaluating information, and the growing diversity inherent in the learning communities they serve. These changing needs create a new imperative for recruiting and retaining a research library workforce that will be effective in this dynamic research environment. Moreover, the research library workforce of the future will have to be adept at creating and fostering collaborations with entities within and outside of their institutions due to sustained budgetary pressures and in order to signal to higher level administration that libraries can remain relevant in the age of Google, Wikipedia, and Flickr. What are then, some of the considerations in this new imperative? What are the skill sets that will be needed to ensure that 21st-century libraries begin to or continue to evolve and properly support the needs of 21st-century researchers? How do libraries frame conversations on this topic during a time of continued economic volatility and stresses to provide more and better with less and fewer? Offered here are several suggestions for this new imperative, suggestions for establishing some priorities for recruitment, and brief commentary on the broad implications for research-intensive organizations. RLI 272 2 Developing a Vital Research Library Workforce ( C O N T I N U E D ) OCTOBER 2010 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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