The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has released a new report, New Roles for New Times: Research Library Services for Graduate Students.
The report is an excellent overview of changes in graduate education and new needs. The key findings include:
Develop a suite of graduate student services. Research libraries should align and design their services for the full spectrum of the graduate student lifecycle—teacher, student, scholar, writer, and researcher. Libraries can organize around interdisciplinary research and address experiences that apply across disciplines, departments or schools, such as capstones, dissertation writing, and comprehensive examinations and involve graduate students and their corresponding faculty/advisors in the planning and development process.” (page 6, emphasis added).
This sort of support is exactly what’s needed from the libraries and from everyone involved in graduate education. Groups like the Modern Language Association (MLA) are discussing how to reform graduate education to decrease time to degree (far too long in the humanities) and how to ensure marketable skills for job placement, among many other concerns (for more, see this article in Inside Higher Ed and the MLA site).
With the MLA Annual Convention only a couple of weeks away, this ARL report is quite timely. The full report is excellent and it’s available from ARL.