During the Spring CNI Virtual Member meeting in April-May 2020, I was frequently struck by the numerous ways in which roughly thirty years of sustained, strategic investment by research libraries, and research universities more broadly (often in partnership with public and private funders) had enabled both teaching and learning and the research enterprise to continue (though imperfectly, to be sure) in the face of the sudden emergency of COVID-19. The most dramatic way to see this is to simply envision the pandemic emerging in 1990 rather than 2020.
Since then, I’ve worked with Mary Lee Kennedy at ARL to flesh out this observation a bit, with particular emphasis on research libraries and scholarly communication. Today we are making available a short document summarizing some of these investments. Note that we’ve not attempted to capture some of the other, closely related investments in areas such as high-performance computing and networking, or identity management where other organizational units have taken the lead. The document can be found at:
This document looks back over the past decades and takes the story up to the present time. I’m interested in the CNI communities’ views on where we should go from here, particularly in light of what we’ve learned in recent months. To this end, we are making available a short form for those who want to share their thinking on areas that still demand sustained strategic investment, areas where we have under-invested, or areas where large-scale strategic investment is no longer needed. This can be found at
You have the option of commenting anonymously if you wish; the form has more detail.
If there’s enough response, I’ll share a brief synthesis of what we hear on this list. We’ll leave the form open till July 24, 2020. My thanks in advance for those who share thoughts on this.