Community of scholars: lifelong learning needs lifetime readers’ tickets

Via Scoop.itDual impact of research; towards the impactelligent university

Recently, Jstor, a digital archive of more than 1,000 major academic journals, has piloted an alumni-access programme that allows 19 institutions, including Yale University and the universities of London and Exeter in the UK, to bring the collection to alumni worldwide at a reasonable cost. For our alumni, access to the collection is free. The response has been tremendous. When programmes such as this are combined with collaborations between university libraries and alumni offices, it becomes possible to build a virtual alumni library that can support an entire lifetime of learning. At the same time, many universities are also vastly expanding public access to their own collections via the web. At Yale, individuals around the world have free online access to images of millions of objects housed in our museums, archives and libraries. But, as we must continue to remind all who will listen, not everything has been put on the web and the physical collections of a university library are still essential, irreplaceable research tools. So while a university library cannot bring its physical collections to alumni spread across the world, it can open its doors, perhaps just a bit wider, to the community that surrounds it. As universities strive to become more a part of, rather than apart from, the community, they should see their libraries as essential to the local intellectual commons.
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About Wilfred Mijnhardt
RMIMR is my virtual playground, a place to reflect on issues from my professional context, my job as Policy Director at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). RSM is the international university based business school at Erasmus University Rotterdam. More info here: www.rsm.nl Here is my list of relevant publications on the topic of my RMIMR weblog: http://www.mendeley.com/collections/694621/RMIMR-Repository/ The rss feed for my RMIMR collection is here: http://www.mendeley.com/collections/rss/694621/ Here is my other weblog on impact of research: http://www.scoop.it/t/dualimpact

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