New Imperatives for Developing a Vital 21st-Century Research Library Workforce We must develop a vital research library workforce able to provide quality services to growing multicultural, multinational student and faculty constituencies. With the exception of a precipitous decline in international student enroll- ment following the events of September 11, 2001, enrollment of international students in higher education continues to increase. In 2008–2009, the Institute of International Education reported that the universities with the top 20 enroll- ments of international students were campuses served by ARL member libraries.3 Representation of racial and ethnic minorities in higher education, as well, is undergoing a steady transformation. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), representation of ethnic and racial minorities in higher education is expected to grow at a rate far surpassing their non-Hispanic, white counterparts. According to projections, in the period from 2007 to 2018, enrollment of Hispanics/Latinos in institutions of higher learning will increase by 38% the projections are 32% for American Indian/Alaska natives, 29% for Asian/Pacific Islanders, and 26% for African Americans or blacks.4 This reality calls for research libraries to consider the implications for library collections and services of this changing demographic profile in the academy. It is incumbent upon the research library community to anticipate staffing needs in response to these demographic changes, reaching beyond simple representation of the library workforce, and assessing cultural competencies and language fluencies necessary for maintaining and improving customer service. We must develop a vital research library workforce equipped to deal with research needs of faculty, graduates, and undergraduates working in subject domains and collections with increasingly global orientations. The development of the Internet and improved access to national and global resources (both in traditional print formats and realia, as well as primary source materials available in digital formats) is paving the way for increased collaboration between teachers and researchers on intra- and international scales. Ease of access provided by technological advances, often facilitated by research libraries, is helping to bring researchers together even in synchronous RLI 272 3 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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