In September 2018, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) released the report of its "To Secure Knowledge" Task Force. The task force was formed to study some troubling developments in the landscape of knowledge production and access: dwindling federal funding, public mistrust in institutions, and widespread skepticism about data and fact-based knowledge. Most concerning, SSRC found that "the infrastructure supporting the social sciences is shifting in ways that threaten to undercut research and knowledge production."
The report suggests how academic institutions, including libraries, can "secure social knowledge for future generations." That will require us, says SSRC president and member of CRL's Board of Directors Alondra Nelson, to "think beyond the institutional and disciplinary silos in which we typically operate." CRL's 2019 forum will be a community conversation about how academic and independent research libraries can figure in this effort, and what special challenges libraries face in confronting the new knowledge landscape.
The Global Resources Forum, to be held following CRL's 2019 Council of Voting Members meeting, is a venue for sharing ideas and expertise on the work of academic and independent research libraries, and an opportunity for members of the CRL community help shape CRL's programs and strategic agenda.
Keynote: To Secure Knowledge: Social Science Partnerships for the Common Good.
Alondra Nelson, President of the Social Science Research Council, Professor of Sociology at Columbia University, and member of the CRL Board of Directors, will speak on the hazards of “the new knowledge landscape” identified in the recent SSRC study, and the role U.S. and Canadian research libraries might play in helping "secure social knowledge for future generations."
Session One The Supply Side: The New and Challenging World of Data and Documentation
As the demand for news and geospatial, financial, and population data grows, corporate and government actors are playing larger roles in the knowledge supply chain. Aggregators and data providers like LexisNexis and Bloomberg, and technology giants like FaceBook and Google, are the gatekeepers of a growing share of the information critical to research. And data journalism is generating news content that is more voluminous and more complex than anything we saw in the age of the newspaper. Session One will explore the implications of these phenomena, and the academy's ability to hold its own in a new and rapidly changing knowledge economy.
Session Two The Demand Side: New and Emerging Approaches to Digital Social Science and Humanities Research
Researchers in a wide range of disciplines, from public policy to history, are pioneering the use of new applications and tools to aggregate and mine ever larger bodies of available text and data. Many of these endeavors are taking place outside, and independent of, the library sphere. Session Two will explore the special challenges - and opportunities - the new practices present for libraries.