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Friday, November 6 • 6:00pm - 6:45pm
Measuring and Sustaining the Impact of Area Studies Collections in a Research Library

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Though much as been written about cooperative collection development and area studies collections, little research exists that assesses the effectiveness of these programs or their impact beyond their home institution. In the area studies, developing collections and sharing resources is the norm. Items in these collections are often scarcely held or “hidden” due to lack of specialized knowledge and financial resources required to maintain them. Such collections require highly trained personnel with the ability to work with one or more vernacular languages and knowledge of the publishing landscape in different geographic locales.. To ensure access to these unique but important collections, area specialists and research libraries developed innovative resource sharing and cooperative collection development schemes in order to provide continued access to materials. 

This poster will examine the recent lending history of developed area studies collections in order to evaluate the impact of resource sharing and cooperative collection development. By examining five years’ of a major research library’s resource sharing data for outgoing materials in Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL) and outgoing materials published with a foreign imprint, the authors will seek to draw conclusions about a cooperatively stewarded collection and make recommendations about the directions that research libraries should pursue in order to provide service at a regional and/or national level.


Esra Coskun

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
avatar for Mara Thacker

Mara Thacker

South Asian Studies Librarian, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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