Happy First Friday!

1.  Working on:  ExTeam has been reviewing the budget and committing to end-of-year projects.  A new project has emerged as a priority this spring: we plan to create a high-density shelving ‘vault’ out of our old server room.  The server room was pressed into use last summer when The Wadewitz arrived on campus.  Since then we’ve studied the master plan and realize that this space is a long-term compact storage opportunity (and has HVAC).  It will allow some crucial breathing room in Special Collections (currently at over 90% capacity).  With some generous donor help, we’re finding a way to make this happen this spring.  We’re also looking at how this new first floor capacity makes it possible to improve the master plan proposals for the fourth floor, and create a Special Collections Reading Room that adjoins the Reading Room in the Sky.

2.  Excited about:  This year’s Pitch Perfect competition  (round 1) closed last week, the votes are in for Fan Favorite, and the first round awards will be announced next week. This year’s videos are fantastic: first, they’re beautiful – the quality of student film-making keeps getting better.  And this year’s prompt (ideas for how Kennedy Library can support interdisciplinary collaboration) brought out some wonderful new ideas – from team-forming apps, to events and competitions, all the way to reconceptualizing the senior project around student passions.  Even more exciting: the students who brought us their ideas will all be invited to move on to round 2 – that’s what makes this year’s Pitch Perfect an “ideas competition.”

3.  Thinking about:  The future of institutional repositories in scholarly communication.  First, I think we have to agree that there couldn’t be a more unfortunate name than “institutional repository,” but we can embrace it (as “repositorians”  do…CSU’s repositorians are holding an inaugural meeting in April).   It’s a great time to question received wisdom about IR’s.   The original mission of the IR was to open up scholarly output,  increase its impact, and counter the damping effects of publisher pay walls with “green” open access. ETD’s and other otherwise hidden (gray) scholarly work joined new publishing ventures in the IR and added important scholarly and institutional context and depth. If “gold” open access  succeeds, (how) does the role of the IR change?   

Enjoy the weekend,