Several selectors recently have brought a new campus center or institute to my attention. These organizations seem to come and go without any central campus oversight, so often the Library only hears about these after-the-fact.
The first question that comes to mind for selectors is, “Will they need material that I’m not now collecting?” Followed by “I wonder if there is any pot of money I could draw on?”
Often these organizations give institutional form and identity to existing research that The Library already supports. I realize that sometimes we do need to change our selecting to accommodate new centers. It’s also the case, unfortunately, that The Library does not have a pot of gold to dip into. I suspect that this is just as true for the academic departments involved in creating new centers and institutes. However, if we are approached to provide additional collection support, we should always ask if departmental funding is available.
As you hear about new centers and institutes, please send an email to me and to your Fund Coordinator. I’d also like to hear if you think your current collecting will serve, or if you will have to re-balance the funds you have in response. I realize that at the outset you might not actually be able to predict what the new center or institute will actually do or need. As this does become clear, it’s exactly the kind of information I’d like to find in your annual report.
Best regards, Bernie