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Open Access & the changing roles in libraries: an example

Dear Colleagues,

As a follow-up on my earlier email, let me speak further to the issue of
the changing roles of libraries in an era of open access with one example.

The Harvard Science Libraries are in the pilot-project/test phase of their
Dspace-based institutional repository, called the Harvard Sciences Digital
Library (HSDL).  Unlike many other implementations of Dspace, the HSDL has
a library-centered structure for its communities and collections.  What
this means, in essence, is that the libraries are actively collecting and
supporting (through metadata creation, copyright/digital rights management
support, object uploading, etc.) the input of materials into our
repository.  We see this support as essential for building the repository
and, in the greater picture, supporting the OA movement.

Naturally, such a library-centered structure requires resources--human,
IT, fiscal, etc.--for successful operation.  My fellow Harvard colleagues
and I are examining work flow, work load, retraining, etc. on numerous
levels in each of our libraries, so we can shift resources to support this
new project.

While some changes were obvious (e.g. a shifting of fiscal resources from
binding to the HSDL, since we buy fewer serial titles each year, and in
some instances, are going e-only), other changes are more challenging
(such as restructuring personnel, or professional development to learn new

It is in light of these changes and challenges that I am reaching out to
our community--to learn best practices, determine in what directions
others are headed, what areas need further study and evaluation, etc.  I
feel there is much to be gained from communicating and collaborating.


Michael R. Leach
Harvard University
Physics Research Library & Kummel Library
17 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
1-617-495-2878 or -2029 (voice); 1-617-495-0416 or -4711 (fax)
leach@eps.harvard.edu or mrleach@fas.harvard.edu