Next Steps

Post-Forum dissemination plans call for presentations to scholarly societies, library organizations, and area studies specialists, and for advocacy with university decision-makers as well as the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). This broad sharing of findings and recommendations is directed toward concrete suggestions and strategies to enact the recommendations, rather than endorsements alone. Each association, constituency, or initiative will thus be challenged to engage with the recommendations by defining its respective role(s) in accomplishing change. We will also post this report online and share it with additional policy- and decision-makers in order to elicit their proposals, comments, and suggestions. Nuanced understandings of the recommendations as they apply to specific communities will be essential to coherent, practical measures to align research library agendas with globalizing scholarship and teaching.

What this might mean, more specifically, is suggested as we consider a number of promising projects and approaches that were identified during the December 2012 Global Forum. Such initiatives as the British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme, the University of Texas’s pioneering work with Guatemalan police archives, the West Africa pilot acquisitions project of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC), and Harvard’s Program for Latin American Libraries and Archives (PLALA) all exemplify activities with strategies and goals to review and perhaps refine in light of the Forum. Structures and groups such as the Library of Congress Overseas Operations Program (LC/OVOP), CRL’s Global Resource Network projects, or HathiTrust, among many others, will also play a role. A complete inventory of work that is either already underway or that has the potential to enrich the collective collections of global and digitized scholarly resources will further ensure that our recommendations build from a solid foundation.

We will thus broaden the conversation, engage a wide range of individuals and institutions, and implement or reinforce concrete actions based on the recommendations in this report. While there are different and important roles for each stakeholder, we expect that each group will examine how the recommendations overlay its own aspirations and activities, and then take specific steps to advance the ideas advocated. The world is changing rapidly, and there have been many, many meetings and discussions about what to do about “foreign acquisitions.” We are eager to generate ideas from both organizations and individuals and promptly incorporate them into an ambitious and solid action plan.



Society, scholarship and our universities are increasingly focused upon and responsive to today’s global environment. Cultural expression, scholarly communication, and data are moving toward digital modalities of creation and use. The scale of meaningful activity in support of these shifts has clearly surpassed what libraries—and their institutions—can accomplish on their own. New perspectives and approaches are essential as the entire scholarly community addresses this emergent context. We have both the opportunity and the responsibility to develop a coherent strategy to advance international scholarship. The Global Forum’s recommendations will move us decisively along this path.

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