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Our Library’s Watch List

I’ve heard from people who want to know what our library has on it’s “Watch List,” so I thought I’d post them here.

But first, a little bit of the back story. If you remember, at the end of last year we had a series of surprisingly interesting and stimulating meetings about out library’s strategic plan (my posts about these meetings are here and here, and now a draft of the plan is available online as a pdf). Part of this plan involves watching trends and developments in the library world outside of our college. So each department made up a list of the things that they either are or would like to be watching, and then the full library staff met to pare the list down to those items that seemed interesting and important to the library as a whole and that meshed well with our strategic plan. Now we have a blog (visible only to library staff, and which I wrote about here) in which we track what we’re seeing, and we use WordPress’ category function to label each post according to the watch list item or items it covers. We can also use the blog space to suggest new items for the watch list, or to discuss taking items off the main list if those topics have stopped being of interest.

And here’s what we’re watching.


  • Collection development with interlibrary loan
  • Storage/archival/retention issues: what to save, where to keep it
  • Preservation (print and electronic)

Electronic, new and emerging formats:

  • Licensing (Licensed streaming video as an alternative to videotape and DVD, and flexible copyright and licensing agreements
  • Statistics
  • Collection and management of websites
  • Electronic Resource Management
  • Digital Library: streaming videos, ebooks
  • Open Access publications: cataloging and including in collection
  • Image and multimedia management applications.

Access to our collections:

  • Aggregator neutral records (MarcIt)
  • Record enrichment (table of contents, dust jackets, reviews, comments, tagging)
  • New search interfaces, non-text search (visual, audio), and displays of search results
  • Metadata (Non-MARC, integrated from a variety of sources)
  • RSS feedsfor new book info, e.g.
  • Outsourcing cataloging and shelf-ready materials


  • Interlibrary loan (international, unmediated, costs, ILLPOD, etc)
  • Delivery systems (CC/StO) expansion
  • Self-checkout
  • Reference models at peer libraries, virtual reference and appointment models
  • Data & GIS in a liberal arts library setting
  • Students’ use of new web publishing models for research (wikipedia, mashups, web 2.0).
  • Social Software and other applications that help users organize their research and information (personal information management, bibliographic management tools, etc).


  • Who, what, how
  • Scanning and OCR service points
  • Institutional repositories

Equipment (hardware & software):

  • Printing
  • Touch screen computer monitors
  • RFID
  • Ares (Atlas course reserves product)
  • “Print/bind on demand” in-house or from publisher (not warehousing titles)
  • Open source software for libraries


  • Cafes/Coffee Shops
  • Space needs for Collection

Campus Initiatives:

  • Copyright
  • One card checkout technology


  • Government Documents
  • Workflow design
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