Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Undiscoverable and in Demand

OCLC has released Taking Our Pulse, a report of its 2009 survey of archives and special collections.

The good news: “Special collections and archives are increasingly seen as elements of distinction that serve to differentiate an academic or research library from its peers.”

The bad news: “much rare and unique material remains undiscoverable [e.g., “Half of archival collections have no online presence”], and monetary resources are shrinking [“75% of general library budgets have been reduced”] at the same time that user demand [“insatiable”] is growing.”

“The top three 'most challenging issues' in managing special collections were space, born-digital materials, and digitization.” (See executive summary, 9ff.)

A webinar on the report is available here.