The goal of the project was to develop a model for bringing greater coherence to distributed resources through physical and virtual means, and also a research support environment that could be modeled, prototyped, and evaluated. The study also assisted the academic leadership in understanding how libraries can promote the "physically boundless nature of inquiry and information use."
From over 50 individual interviews with faculty from 16 College of Liberal Arts departments and roundtable discussions with graduate students they constructed a general picture of scholarly practices and habits. I didn't find any real surprises in the report. My short summary: Graduate students need a stable place to study. Faculty researchers find interdisciplinary and collaborative research difficult. Everyone wants more electronic access to the libraries resources but values the physical collection.
There was, however, one question directly relevant to the discussion of the Librarian's Dilemma:
- Q18.How important are the University Libraries for the following aspects of your research process: Resource for finding and retrieving; place for research or study; collector and purchaser; repository/preservation; developer of technology?
39.3% thought the library’s role as a developer of technology was quite important.