The ubiquitous nature of digital content and networks has led to transformations in the way the research and education community does its work. In this program area, we focus on the impact of changing technologies, new modes of communication and content creation, and the pervasiveness of digital content on organizations, including the changing nature of teaching and learning, the need for new services and expertise in professions, the importance of partnerships, and the pressure on physical facilities to accommodate the changing needs of user communities.
CNI has a longstanding commitment to highlighting and advancing organizational initiatives that facilitate cooperation across institutional units and professional cultures, with particular emphasis on collaboration between librarians and information technologists. We have also tried to extend the core library-information technology collaboration to encompass instructional technologists, faculty, publishers, electronic records managers, archivists, data managers and data scientists, research managers and others. Our work on organizational and institutional issues includes a focus on evaluation and assessment strategies, recognizing the continuing need to understand the effects and contributions of advanced information technology and digital content.
We are monitoring a number of developments in this area, including innovations in online learning, new models for e-book development and acquisition, multi-pronged institutional publishing and dissemination programs that strategically span and coordinate activities involving the libraries and university presses, and sometimes other units, and the growing importance of building and maintaining high-quality institutional databases of geo-referencing information.
There is a developing recognition that institutions need more coherent strategies for disseminating scholarship, and that this entails much more than just operating a university press. Just as research libraries and presses jointly enabled humanities monograph publishing to work in print, new partnerships will be needed to support digital humanities at scale. Several years ago we held an executive roundtable to look at these trends. In spring 2016 we partnered with ARL and the Association of American University Presses to convene library and press directors from the growing number of research institutions where the press reports to the library in order to better understand the implications of this organizational restructuring on mission alignment and scope. As we prepare the report for release this program year, we are looking carefully at next steps for this work.
Many institutions are integrating the use of mobile devices in teaching and learning, and researchers use mobile devices for data collection and communication in the field. New applications involve sophisticated geo-tagged information and augmented reality, or the use of portable devices as distributed “sensors.” Institutions continue to grapple with developing policies, services, and strategies for mobile devices as the number of devices deployed by the campus community continues to increase. In the last few years our Executive Roundtable program has been a particularly useful vehicle for mapping emerging thinking in these areas.