The Center for Research Libraries is pleased to announce the formation of its Sustainable Stewardship and Access Working Group (SSAWG). Charged with investigating and proposing shared solutions to address the large and persistent access backlogs of materials in less commonly held / minoritized languages, the working group aims to build on prior and contemporary initiatives (such as the BTAA Cooperative Cataloging Partnership) and leverage its collective expertise to develop innovative solutions.
“Managing access to global collections within library systems - which are rapidly transforming and fundamentally changing the way libraries operate - requires innovative thinking and collaboration across the full lifecycle of collections,” said Amy Wood, Interim Director of Collections & Research Support, Center for Research Libraries and Collections and Services Policy Committee liaison.
Recognizing that academic libraries in recent years have continually struggled with access backlogs, CRL’s Collections and Services Policy Committee (CSPC) called for SSAWG’s formation to devise collective solutions that address the full lifecycle of collections. Librarians from eight institutions familiar with the challenges of creating access to non-Western language materials and the challenges of balancing the loads of acquisitions, description and access answered the call to find sustainable solutions.
“I am thrilled to learn of this new working group! No one library or librarian can solve these challenges alone. I’m confident that CRL’s long-established experience in bringing people together to find shared solutions for international materials will result in SSAWG’s success. I’m impatient for what we will discover in our collections. Even more, I can’t wait to see what we will learn from each other in the process!” added Mary Rader, Head, Fine Arts, Humanities and Global Studies Engagement Team, University of Texas and member of the International Collections and Content Group (ICC).
The Sustainable Stewardship and Access Working Group aims to center DEI and embrace innovative approaches while being deeply vested in the operational and institutional realities of the academic library community. Poised to confront this complex challenge and find scalable and sustainable collective solutions, the group held its kickoff meeting September 19, 2022.