May 26, 2022

New Report From CLIR: “The Center of Excellence Model for Information Services”

Published online by the Council on Library and Information Services (CLIR) today.

From the Abstract:

 In 2013, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded a group of librarians from ARL’s Research Library Leadership Fellows program a planning grant to examine the center of excellence (CoE) model for information services. Used in a variety of industries, CoEs are designed to attract the most talented researchers in a particular field, enhance collaboration, and improve access to the resources needed for their research. The planning grant was awarded to determine whether the CoE model could serve as a means to provide the new services required for the effective use of digital information.

This report describes the team’s approach to examining the feasibility of CoEs in the library setting. The team conducted preliminary investigations of more than 100 centers, which they narrowed to 35 for in-depth research. Interviews were conducted with staff at 19 centers and 7 funding organizations. In their conclusion, the team advises developing “networks of expertise” or “expert networks,” instead of CoEs, and provides a series of recommendations for building such networks.

Direct to Full Text Report:

The Center of Excellence Model for Information Services (31 pages; PDF)
by Joy Kirchner, José Diaz, Geneva Henry, Susan Fliss, John Culshaw, Heather Gendron, and Jon E. Cawthorne
ISBN 978-1-932326-49-9
CLIR Publication No. 163

See Also: Slides: Authors Report on Research at Spring 2014 CNI Meeting (.pptx)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.