NYU 21st Century Library Project

NYU Libraries have made available the interesting report of a study of 'faculty and graduate student needs for research and teaching': NYU 21st Century Library Project: Designing a Research Library of the Future for New York University [pdf].

The report includes a literature review and the results of individual and focus group interviews with faculty and graduate students.

As one might expect, views are various and highlight some of the issues facing research libraries as they provide service to a community with changing and internally differentiated expectations.

I was particularly interested in some of the closing material on 'potential implications of implementation'. The report contrasts the possibilities and implications of 'true success' as opposed to 'settling'. Under 'true success' it notes these two candidate criteria among others:

  1. Building satisfied users across disciplines and levels who cherish the library as an invaluable part of their academic and professional experience.
  2. Constructing a library strong enough to be a meaningful factor in faculty and student decisions to choose NYU.

Reading this, I was reminded of Jim Collins's discussion in Good to great and the social sectors, where he talks about how organizations in the social sector should develop meaningful metrics which measure performance relative to their mission. These criteria could be turned into such metrics .....

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