Tranformational Times – 3 sentences plus

May 26th, 2009 by Jim

The Association of Research Libraries membership meeting that concluded last Friday was themed Transformational Times. It was organized to encourage inter-institutional collaboration and creative responses to funding challenges. The presentations were uniformly strong and largely stuck to the theme. What emerged for me overall was a sense that this group of libraries has internalized the imperative for systemic organizational change and the TETs (tough economic times) have added immediacy to the imperative.

The presentations will appear on the ARL website soon but in the interim I thought I would share a few of the sentences that grabbed my attention. (A recent post by Lorcan provided me with the conceit.)

We’re surrounded by assets that have become liabilities.
Paula Kaufman, University Librarian, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

We need to look at things through the lens of the LAMs.
James G. Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian, Columbia University

Well, you’ll just have to learn to share.
Wendy Lougee, University Librarian, University of Minnesota

Wendy was quoting an anecdote told many times by former Emory University Provost Billy Frye. You can read the anecdote and the spectacularly prescient short article in which it was memorialized in Occasional Paper No. 14 by the American Council of Learned Societies from 1990.

What’s different now? This time we mean it? Really?
Kevin Guthrie, President, Ithaka

Our history of collaboration is in the way of radical collaboration.
Anne Kenney, University Librarian, Cornell University

And with the self-consciousness that informs all blogging:

Books have held us up.
Me

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