19 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 294 2018 Rather than searching for and reading single journal articles on a topic, many users want to engage with research materials computationally. If some of the discovery assistance that liaisons typically provide can be improved upon via technology, liaisons can shift some efforts towards assisting users with tools to manipulate and analyze information. As researchers rely ever more heavily on data or resources that are outside licensed or purchased library collections, liaisons are well positioned to develop systematic observations about what researchers use and how they use it. Liaisons will have a new role, yet to be fully defined, in helping the library incorporate these resources into a global, open-platform model, a model in which library collections are more porously understood as extending beyond what is purchased or licensed for local use. With a global, open-platform model, many customized interfaces can be layered on top of digital library collections. These interfaces, sometimes co-designed with users, can optimize access to specialized subsets of information or locally- produced descriptions of local information. Again, liaisons may be key intermediaries in understanding user perspectives and promoting more fair or technically improved discovery practices. Across all disciplines, researchers at MIT are engaged in making the world a better place by working with local communities to understand problems and find solutions. These researchers see themselves as co-designers with their global partners and therefore increasingly require that relevant information and data be accessible to their community partners. Meeting this challenge will require ongoing effort and advocacy from liaisons, as research moves from an exclusionary ecosystem to a more open one. Working with research teams, liaisons can help ensure that information is not just available to communities, but is usable by them, in ways that respect cultural norms, available technologies, local information practices, and other features that affect access. With researchers becoming increasingly vocal around
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