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Developing a Library Research Platform for 21st Century Scholars

The direct intersection between university libraries and academic research has significantly diminished in the past two decades. For continued relevance on campus academic libraries need to develop a new approach to working within the research endeavour.

Multidisciplinary Research Infrastructure: The Role of 21st Century Libraries

In the fall of 2015, the University of Calgary conducted a planning study  funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Multidisciplinary Research Infrastructure: The Role of 21st Century Libraries. The purpose of this study was to discern the evolving needs of scholars conducting research that spans multiple disciplines. Research clusters chosen for the study were Arctic Studies, Smart Cities, and Visual Analytics.

The workshops took place in the Taylor Family Digital Library on November 18, 19 and 20, 2015. Participants were fully engaged and the individual research clusters worked on identifying principal infrastructure needs. When the clusters were brought together, common priorities were identified and differences were acknowledged. The three external experts, from Toronto, Queens and Carleton universities, added a layer of richness to the discussions.

The workshops centered on discovery of evolving research needs. Participant opinion was not specifically sought on the value or adequacy of traditional library services, but it was evident that these traditional services are no longer seen as essential to new research patterns. Findings indicate that a substantial transformation and realignment of investment within libraries is crucial to the retention of campus centrality by research libraries. Conversations and discussions over the three days resulted in a consensus on common research infrastructure needs across research clusters, providing ample evidence that these needs are shared across projects and disciplines and that researchers are confident in the library’s potential for leadership

The study's report further outlining the study's findings is available the in PRISM repository.