While I should not have had to be, I was reminded by a colleague that RLG’s official birthday was December 1.
RLG was incorporated on December 1, 1975. The innovative cooperative effort of New York Public, Columbia, Yale and Harvard libraries that resulted in the incorporation was announced earlier in March, 1974. The announcement merited a substantial New York Times article.
It also merited saber-rattling comments from the publishers (“if this is done without payment to publishers and authors for the systematic reproduction…“) and jeremiads from authors (“The idea that scholarly publishing can survive under a system where libraries…is an obvious self-defeating contradiction.“).
The research library leadership that created RLG was prescient and bold. I hope the extended library, archive and museum community which now exists will come together in the face of our new challenges and opportunities to create an equally bold shared vision of the future.
I deeply appreciate the leaders and all the staff in all the member institutions who’ve worked together to create expanded access to the materials of research. The scholarly enterprise has progressed because of your efforts. I’m fortunate to work with you.
Jim coordinated the OCLC Research office in San Mateo, CA, focusing on relationships with research libraries and work that renovates the library value proposition in the current information environment. He retired in 2016.