Academic libraries are changing rapidly under the influence of digital technology, an expanded outreach and service philosophy, and increasing competition from nontraditional sources and venues.
These changes are particularly evident in special collections, an area which until recently was little known outside hardcore researchers. Often hidden away from the regular traffic of the academic library, the special collections function has been carried out for many years by dedicated professionals and equally dedicated students, interns, and volunteers, who have carefully collected and curated rare books and manuscripts, university records, community history, broadcast media, and ephemera. This is changing as special collections departments become increasingly visible on the web and in and around the academic library.
Margery Sly is the Director of the Temple University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC), located on the ground floor of Paley Library. On January 24, 2013, I sat down with her to discuss the SCRC. I was curious to find out how these trends were playing out here at Temple University and what the future holds for the SCRC.
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