Rebalancing the Investment in Collections H. Thomas Hickerson, Vice Provost for Libraries and Cultural Resources and University Librarian, University of Calgary G ood morning, it is a pleasure to be here today and have a chance to contribute to this rich dialogue regarding the research library collection of the 21st century. To lay the groundwork for my presentation, I will talk briefly about the nature of preserved information and how this contributed to shaping the research library collection of the 19th and 20th centuries. Then, while I will say a few things about my views regarding the nature of tomorrow’s collection, I recognize that you have heard during the last 24 hours compelling presentations and comments regarding the various elements comprising this future. In my remarks, I will focus on two information types— visualized data and special collections—that I feel are evocative of my general position that it is not just the information itself that determines the value of tomorrow’s collection, but also where and how the information is and can be used. I will then turn to the effort to delineate a new holistic framework for analyzing the aggregations of information presently available, and I will suggest steps to assist in positioning us to make reasoned decisions regarding current and future planning. I hope to introduce a new prism through which we can view the information universe and the portions of that universe we make explicit efforts to support the use of. This holistic approach includes an understanding of the full spectrum of information available to scholars and students and the technological capabilities, rights of use, and services necessary for full utilization of these resources. The holistic framework’s raison d’être is RLI 277 1 DECEMBER 2011 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A QUARTERLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC Editor’s note: The author presented this paper on October 14, 2011, at the ARL-CNI Fall Forum on “21st-Century Collections and the Urgency of Collaborative Action,” held in Washington, DC. Audio recordings of the forum sessions are available on the ARL website at
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