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As international collections grow, how do academic libraries stay afloat?

First, the obvious news from Christa Williford: "If we are committed to helping students become citizens of the world, international and area studies collections and research support must remain vital to our curricula." 

Next the bad news in Williford's article "Providing for the Future of International and Area Studies Librarianship.": "Yet our approaches to building these collections and supporting the research in these domains will have to change." 

As disciplinary boundaries blur, those who build international collections and regional and area studies face an uphill battle collecting, collating and organizing the avalanche of available scholarship. This is a problem today, but think about what the situation will look like in five, ten, fifteen years as content grows and access issues become more complex. My obvious answer: This will push the role of traditional academic libraries -- and academic librarians. 

For staff -- or those who hire and develop new staff -- here's a pertinent job problem: 

Rapid changes in discovery and analytical tools make the search still more daunting: the diversity of skills required to meet an ever wider array of needs is too much for any one individual, or often the staff at any one institution, to develop and maintain. Add to these challenges research libraries’ current budgetary pressures, the tendency for disciplinary specialists to compete with one another for resources, and growing expectations for easy, reliable access to digital as well as analog content, and the prospect of satisfying the needs of tomorrow’s researchers in international and area studies seems uncertain, even at our best-funded academic libraries.

It's all right here, along with a possible solution, at The Council on Libraries and Information Resources September/October 2013

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