AgNIC: A Model for a National Digital Library for Agriculture - Building Collaborative Partnerships Through Technology to Meet Global Needs for Agricultural Information

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With a preponderance of electronic resources readily available as well as technology hardware and infrastructure advancing at a logarithmic pace, the needs for the physical library as a center for research have greatly diminished. Many libraries have moved to the notion of 'library as place,' a welcoming environment for group study, an information commons, and cyber cafes. For those on campus, particularly undergraduates, this new approach has effectively demonstrated increased use of library buildings. Libraries must also be focused on the notion of 'place as library.' The library's web presence should provide just as welcoming an environment as the library building for faculty, research staff and students. The sciences, in particular, have embraced the Internet for databases, distributed computing, and virtual collaboration where each member of the workgroup can be widely dispersed, beyond a single institution and, in some cases, beyond national borders. The sciences have the greatest infrastructure of both digital resources and the newest technologies. New software products make the leap to virtual collaboration, virtual conferencing, and virtual teamwork seamless. Virtual collaborative activities take place in the digital environment, beyond the geographic constraints of the institution. So, where does the research library fit into this new and emerging model? The speaker listed shared some examples, with a focus on agriculture and related sciences, of how libraries can make a difference and provide research support services and an infrastructure for information access, dissemination, and preservation in the ever evolving digital environment.
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Contributing institution: National Agricultural Library
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Agricultural information; Digital libraries; Metadata; Collaboration
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