OCLC Research Library Partnership, making a difference

keioI’m very pleased (and excited!) to share this story with you, because we always love to hear how our work makes a difference. After attending a 2013 OCLC Research Library Partnership meeting at Yale University, librarians from Keio University Library in Tokyo changed the way they handle special collections as a result of what they learned.

Keio University’s Mita Media Center Manager Hideyuki Seki, Chief Executive Shigehiko Kazama and University Librarian Shunsaku Tamura attended Past Forward! Meeting Stakeholder Needs in 21st Century Special Collections, which focused on new ways to provide researchers with access to special collections. Before attending the meeting, staff at Keio University Library were very protective of their rare books, focusing primarily on preservation and limiting access to them. But throughout the Past Forward! meeting, they heard other librarians talk about the benefits they experienced from providing their students and faculty access their special collections, and they saw firsthand how Yale University’s Beinecke Library provides access to and beautifully displays its books. This led to a profound change in the way Keio University Library thinks about its special collections. As a result, Keio implemented changes to strike a balance between outreach and preservation. The library now encourage access to its rare books and special collections, which not only gives students and faculty a positive experience but directly contributes to the university’s scholarly mission.

Hideyuki Seki shared his story with Program Officer Jennifer Schaffner; you can watch it below. Thanks to Seki-san and to Keio colleagues for being willing to share this story — it can be difficult to recognize when you need to change practices and even more challenging to make changes so I applaud their courage in sharing. And thanks to Jen for asking Seki-san to tell the story.

If you have a story to share about out the Partnership has impacted you or your institution, please get in touch!