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What a Provost Could Do | Peer to Peer Review

You could substitute “preservation librarian” for “librarian” and much of this still works…from Library Journal, authored by Barbara Fister, Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, MN).

I was talking with some higher education researchers yesterday about what provosts should be thinking about when it comes to libraries. Last year, when I gave chief academic officers a chance to vent in an anonymous survey, I was surprised at how positively they viewed what has to be a huge money drain on their stretched budgets. A survey of chief financial officers would probably have produced less complimentary results. But though it’s good news that provosts think libraries are valuable and will retain their significance in a digital age and that librarians are largely doing a good job of managing their resources and providing responsive environments geared toward student needs, they did point out that we could do a better job of letting them know what’s going on in our world. We might even try a spot of advocacy.

Librarians are so busy stretching a dollar and bridging budget gaps with stopgaps and workarounds that we don’t spend as much time as we should documenting our needs, developing coalitions of supporters, or designing long-term solutions. Those things take time, and too many libraries that are coping with hiring freezes or staff cuts don’t have it. Besides, they are issues that we can’t solve by ourselves.

So, here’s a memo to provosts everywhere: thanks for your faith in us, but things are not okay at the library. We need your help, and these are three places where you need to provide leadership.

via What a Provost Could Do | Peer to Peer Review.


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