The report makes a number of recommendations, including suggestions on how these may be implemented on both an institutional and consortial level.
Recommendation One: Advocacy and Lobbying
Advocating for the potential of special collections and archives to stimulate innovation and creativity in research, teaching and public engagement can lead to more reward and recognition for research libraries. As the results of this report show, this can be translated into greater willingness from stakeholders to support special collections, generate national and international interest and lead to fruitful collaborations.
Recommendation Two: Terminology
It becomes apparent that many university libraries tend to follow the impact statements that their institutions are employing. However, as these are often closer to the REF criteria, they do not always serve the strategic goals of the library and offer limited opportunities for bringing recognition and reward back to the library.
Recommendation Three: Staff Skills Development
Getting involved in teaching, research or public engagement activities was common practice for most of the participants in this project. Moreover, as part of being engaged in impact-enhancing activities, staff members responsible for the management of special collections and archives often communicate and collaborate with other library teams, stakeholders and audience members, such as researchers, and undertake responsibilities that expand their traditional role.
Recommendation Four: Capturing and Demonstrating Value
As this report shows, research libraries have a good level of awareness with regards to the ways their collections are used within institutions which make it easier for them to capture and showcase value. However, many often find it challenging to track and capture the impact of collections when used for external projects, measure long term impact of library resources and services or effectively evaluate the use of their digital resources.
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Image credit: Special Collections, University of Leeds