May 23, 2022

New Report From ARL and CNI: “A Case for Continued Strategic Investments by Research Libraries to Advance Research and Learning”

From a New Report by:

  • Mary Lee Kennedy,  Executive Director, Association of Research Libraries
  • Clifford Lynch, Executive Director, Coalition for Networked Information

The internet emerged from the research and higher education community and changed the world. Research libraries were right there. Thirty years of strategic investment by research libraries, in partnership with the organizations that have led the internet’s development, has positioned higher education institutions to effectively (though, to be sure, imperfectly) sustain their instructional and research missions through the current pandemic, and to support a massive, unprecedented, international, emergency research effort to address COVID-19. To fully appreciate the scale and scope of these investments, one need only imagine that the pandemic had occurred in 1990 and envision the impact on students and on researchers.

Here we reflect on six major strategic directions where research libraries have made—and must continue to make—sustained investments to ensure researchers and scholars can teach and make breakthrough innovations, even in the face of crises like pandemics.

The six strategic directions of research library investment are:

1. Reduce barriers to information access and use in order to increase the opportunity to create new knowledge by shifting the culture of scholarship towards open science and open education.

2. Ensure the ongoing organization of research practices, workflows, outputs, and preservation of scholarly assets.

3. Digitize as much as possible of the cultural and scientific record that provides essential evidence for scholarship so that it can be shared worldwide and preserved.

4. Establish and partner with organizations to support the above strategic directions, to advance the new digital environment.

5. Build and nurture vital alliances and partnerships within and beyond the research and higher education community in order to collectively advance research

6.  Develop (and where necessary, invent) the necessary skills and expertise to support students and researchers in this evolving environment.

Direct to Full Text Report (HTML)

Direct to Full Text Report
6 pages; PDF.

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.