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Title:Keeping the "Area" in Area Studies: All About International Acquisitions Trips
Author(s):Rader, Mary; Thacker, Mara
Subject(s):Area studies, international acquisitions, libraries, fieldwork, international networking, funding strategies, IASC21
Abstract:Overseas buying trips have long been recognized as an invaluable tool to build unique area studies collections. Less acknowledged but certainly no less valuable is the set of activities that accompany acquisitions trips—the professional networking, continuing education and institutional positioning that can happen while an area studies librarian is “in the field.” Despite the importance and benefits foreign travel—even in the seemingly ubiquitous internet age–institutional support for this type of activity varies and there have been mixed opinions about the extent to which the outcomes are worth the cost. In the debates, questions about priorities abound: how many individual titles need to be procured and at what cost-savings? How to respect cultural patrimony when seeking unique and rare special collections? If no tangible acquisitions result from the trip, how can we justify the investment? What kinds of institutional partnerships are possible and of interest to a parent institution? How can we explore prospects for open access collaborations in an international context? How can we measure the professional “learning” and “engagement” that takes place in such trips? This three-part session is all about overseas trips and addresses this controversy head on. In the first part, we will discuss how we might collectively define and describe what constitutes an overseas trip. This discussion will result in a group statement on the value of overseas trips for area studies librarianship. In the next part, we will discuss strategies for requesting funding to implement an overseas trip program and present a case study of one institutions’ recently implemented pilot program. Finally, we will discuss ways to assess the impact of these trips exploring traditional and alternative methods of assessment and generating a list of assessment tools that participants can implement at their own institutions.
Issue Date:2016-10
Citation Info:Rader, M. and Thacker, M. (2016). Keeping the "Area" in Area Studies: All About International Acquisitions Trips [Microsoft PowerPoint slides].
Genre:Presentation / Lecture / Speech
Conference Paper / Presentation
Sponsor:University of Illinois Library
Center for Global Studies
Mortenson Center for International Library Programs
U.S. Department of Education, Title VI NRC Program
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-15

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