RLI 283 “There’s a Great Future in Plastics” 15 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC 2013 The success of this project to date is due in part to the extensive network of collaboration across the library, the campus, and among donors. The project’s “hands-on” advisory committee comprises plastics donors, scholars, and librarians. Such collaboration is not always easy it requires patience, attention, and flexibility from all parties. The dean, assistant dean for advancement, and director of special collections engage in frequent—and sometimes spirited—debates over how to best synchronize donor goals with those of the library. At the same time, the plastics project signifies the sort of interdisciplinary cooperation that is much talked about, but not always realized, on college campuses. The dilemma is that, while this is a great collection, it falls low in priority when measured against other critical position needs in the library. Looking ahead, the library continues to acquire new materials, notably a world-class collection of celluloid, to refine the collection’s web presence, and to encourage faculty use of the collection. When all is said and done, the future of plastics at SU Library will depend upon the ability to raise the funds required to support the ambitious program envisioned at the outset—visiting scholars, seminars and colloquia, changing exhibitions—the sort of activities that signal a truly vibrant library. Endnotes 1 The Graduate, directed by Mike Nichols (1967). 2 Society of the Plastics Industry, “New SPI Report Shows Global Recession’s Impact on State of US Plastics in the International Marketplace,” news release, October 21, 2009, http://www. plasticsindustry.org/Press/newsdetail.cfm?ItemNumber=3381. © 2013 Sean Quimby This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/. To cite this article: Sean Quimby. “’There’s a Great Future in Plastics’: Mainstreaming a Special Collection.” Research Library Issues: A Report from ARL, CNI, and SPARC, no. 283 (2013): 11-15. http:// publications.arl.org/rli283/.