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Libraries to hold March symposium

The University Libraries will hold a spring conference focused on digital resources and budgeting.

Funding Our Digital Future: Budgeting for Libraries and Scholarly Communication will be held March 20 and 21 and is designed to give faculty members, students and librarians an opportunity to discuss the libraries’ future.

“We see this as the beginning of an ongoing process,” said Ed Shephard, head of collection development and organizer of the symposium.

The explosion of digital resources leaves libraries scrambling to figure out how to pay for materials, how to prioritize purchases and how to respond to researchers’ changing needs. Increasingly, libraries are not just repositories of information but also service providers.

“This is something all libraries are struggling with,” Shephard said. “We have the data, but we also have to provide the services.”

Binghamton’s collections budget for 2005-’06 is about $4.8 million, he said, and about a third of that will pay for digital resources of one sort or another. Not all fields are going digital at the same speed, Shephard noted, so there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to collection development at the libraries. The March conference will include speakers, information vendors and publishers. But the heart of the event will be researchers and librarians talking about their concerns and discussing some general directions for Binghamton University’s libraries.

Shephard believes faculty members will benefit from hearing each other’s concerns and that the symposium might also help to foster some multidisciplinary work if scholars see common themes as they’re talking.

“The library,” Shephard said, “is very interested in knowing how they’re incorporating digital resources into their teaching and research.”
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Last Updated: 10/14/08