Building a Scholarly Communication Center: Modeling the Rutgers Experience

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Academic libraries have to serve the needs of many constituencies in a number of very different settings, and over a wider range of services than ever before. In addition to on-site students and faculty, academic libraries also mustserve the information needs of communities, distance education students, and off-site faculty. Another unwritten mandate for academic libraries is to provide access to technology and information to those who do not have it. The academic library of the past, heavy on books and printed serials, must expand to include interlibrary networks and provide access to all types of electronic resources.

The scholarly communication center is a comprehensive, technologically rich facility that provides all users with access to technology, communications networks, information, and library materials, within and beyond the library walls. Through a combination of new technology, expanded communications networks, and revitalized facilities, the scholarly communication center serves the academic campus with consistent, high-quality access to research and the world beyond.

Building a Scholarly Communication Center is a unique guide based on the successful model for planning the scholarly communication center at Rutgers University. The planning process at Rutgers is used as the springboard to identify issues, potential problems, and solutions in planning and development. Success factors are examined along with potential obstructions. The book looks at:

  • facilities design;
  • funding;
  • technology considerations; and
  • the impact on research and instruction.

The authors pull no punches in describing both the hard knocks and the rewards in planning the academic library of tomorrow today. Their experience in both planning and using the scholarly communication center provides the unique perspective of those who have to live with their decisions afterward. Any academic librarian who wants to move their library into the twenty-first century will benefit from this planning guide.


1 Overview
2 Planning and Implementing
3 Budget and Fund-Raising
4 Teleconference Lecture Hall
5 The Information Handling Laboratory
6 Humanities and Social Sciences Data Center: Building A Laboratory for Virtual Future
7 Technology Checklist and Specifications
8 Day 1: Connecting to the Academic Community and Beyond
9 Implications of the SCC for Research and Instruction: Charting Unknown Territory
10 Closing One Chapter and Opening the Next


Boyd Collins

"...very much the practical how-to-do-it guide rather than a philosophical text. It will be a useful resource to librarians who need to plan minor renovations to improve user access to electronic resources or to those planning entirely new facilities. Since many practical suggestions and ideas are discussed which could help a librarian move an instruction program from lecture-based presentations to one based upon active learning, it should also prove beneficial to anyone involved in library instruction, whether or not they are designing a new facility. Recommended for those engaged in the above endeavors."
—Technical Services Quarterly

"This is a timely publication on an important initiative, one designed to ensure that libraries can successfully navigate from the print to the digital age. Those academic libraries already travelling in this direction, or wishing to embark on the journey, will find it most useful."
—Online Information Review