May 26, 2022

Special Libraries: Army’s Largest Technical Library Collaborates to Define its 21st Century Future

From the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) Public Affairs:

Redstone Scientific Information Center, or RSIC, is a unique, national asset containing a collection of specialized materials including technical reports, contractor reports, technical memorandums, informational briefs, special reports, and conference papers open to all government employees and contractors at Redstone Arsenal.

In addition to being the largest technical library, it is also the only joint Army/ NASA library.


RSIC Board Chair and AMDREC Director James Lackey shared insight on future development for the center.

“One of the key challenges for RSIC is making a secure transition into a more digital future. The entire definition of what a library means is fundamentally changing,” Lackey said. “Just look at how eBooks are proliferating over traditional hardback products in your very own home. Brave new world concepts of ‘knowledge management’, ‘data mining’, and ‘cloud analytics’ prevail over traditional dusty phrases of ‘card catalog’, ‘bound periodicals’, and ‘microfiche’.”


Lackey said, “RSIC must keep pace with information technologies to remain viable and relevant for today’s and tomorrow’s technical workforce. This entails a variety of activities including converting existing collections into digital format, exploring use of information technology tool sets, and social media as well as potentially expanding partnerships of RSIC beyond the arsenal gates to include local academic institutions. All of this future greatness comes with a literal cost.”

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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.