We must develop a research library workforce that is wholly collaborative—building and contributing to library, campus, regional, national, and international partnerships and projects. What has become part of the formula in job descriptions today is the ability for library and information professionals to adapt to change and adjust priorities in dynamic professional environments. This has never been truer as libraries work to leverage resources and build partnerships with outside organizations in areas such as collection management, cataloging and metadata, e-research, and large- scale digitization. Within the institution, what is certainly needed is a workforce with the subject expertise to engage with faculty and researchers in critical data- management programs that include born-digital materials (images, datasets, media) and in emerging subject disciplines. Similarly, the models for liaison responsibilities in academic institutions are being redefined and developed, shaped by factors such as the need to be more fully engaged with instructional faculty in processes to determine priorities for collection development the need to be proactive in the determination of desired learning outcomes in information and data-literacy exercises, etc. It is clear that the future workforce will need to continue to evaluate those roles and build effective collaborations that enhance the teaching and research priorities of the constituencies they serve. Conclusion These imperatives are but a few of the considerations in developing a vital research library workforce. If the modern library is to serve as the laboratory for supporting dynamic, interactive, and sometimes experimental information consumption and creation, then the library workforce of the future will need to have a diverse range of skills, aptitudes, competencies, and soft skills to support those teaching and learning methodologies. Moreover, the need has never been greater for library and information professionals to embody a collaborative orientation as they engage in dialogue about the information needs of their constituencies and as they think creatively about ways to embed themselves in the research process. So much more could be said about specific areas of expertise needed to contribute to research and education, including knowledge of scholarly publishing, intellectual property rights, web development and database building, and myriad other technical competencies. Perhaps it is time to re-think the approaches for recruitment into the RLI 272 5 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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