Common Knowledge

Occasional commentary from CRL’s president

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CRL is an enterprise powered by the knowledge, expertise, ideas, and energy of individuals and groups in its community. Common Knowledge is a place where that collective intelligence is shared and those collective efforts are recognized and acknowledged.

Recent Blog Entries

Expanding the Global Resources Network
29 Nov 2017


The new Global Collections Initiative is expanding the CRL network of libraries and institutions committed to building and preserving important and endangered resources for area and international studies. 

Sustaining Access to News: What We Learned from eDesiderata 2017
11 Nov 2017


The conversations at the 2017 eDesiderata Forum exploded the notion that our longstanding print-based approach to preserving news still applies in the digital era, and suggested new strategies.

A Sea Change: 6. On North American Cooperation
26 Sep 2017


Conversations at the June 2017 Expanding the Shared Collections forum helped clarify and focus CRL planning for new shared collections partnerships. 

A Sea Change: 5. More Specifics
25 Apr 2017


The unprecedented turnout for the 2017 Council of Voting Members business meeting was great news, but unfortunately overwhelmed our ability to answer all of the questions about the CRL budget and collections agenda.  Here we address them one by one. 

A Sea Change: 4. The Means to the End
4 Apr 2017


Fulfilling CRL’s commitment to the integrity and accessibility of critical documentation and evidence requires a change in approach. The proposed CRL budget for the coming fiscal year will support that change. 

A Sea Change: 3. Building a Credible Network
22 Mar 2017


Creating a “CRL consensus” on goals and standards is at the heart of CRL’s shared print agenda. Essential to establishing that consensus is CRL’s Collections and Services Policy Committee (CSPC). The CSPC was instrumental in  shaping the terms of CRL partnerships with the Linda Hall Library and the Law Library Microfilm Consortium, and  will similarly be involved in shaping terms with future partners.

A Sea Change: 2. The Terms of Stewardship
10 Mar 2017


Historically CRL has set a high bar for the stewardship of shared print. CRL partnerships for shared print should do no less.

A Sea Change: 1. Greater Scale
24 Feb 2017


The scale of the challenges of responsible collections stewardship faced by CRL libraries requires CRL to evolve from a single, shared collection to a network of repositories. A reallocation of resources to be proposed at the 2017 Council of Voting Members business meeting could enable the organization to move decisively in that direction. 

CRL's Agenda for Shared Print, 2017 - 2026
28 Dec 2016


The integrity of the vast print serial collections built and long maintained by North American libraries is now in jeopardy. CRL will work, over the next ten years, to shift the onus of maintaining critical print serials collections from individual libraries to the collective, and to generate significant new benefits from those collections for researchers. 

"Fake News"
22 Nov 2016


As social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter facilitate the spread of misinformation, research libraries and news organizations together can ensure the integrity and survival of the public record.