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CRRA Update February 2012

CRRA UPDATE February 2012

Comments, questions, suggestions, please ...

This Update focuses on the just-released Draft Plan of the Five Year Strategic Planning Task Force.

Task Force chair, Lorraine Olley, asks that you please review the draft plan and send your comments, questions or suggestions to Lorraine or any member of the Task Force by Friday, February 17, 2012.

Your input into our future directions is most critical to our success, and we thank you in advance for your input.

Please see Lorraine’s announcement and the Draft Plan, below and on our website.

From Lorraine Olley, Chair of the Five Year Strategic Planning Task Force

Strategic directions, initiatives and mission-critical outcomes: Content and community

The Task Force (TF) employs the “content and community” framework to keep its thinking targeted on strategies for enhancing access to Catholic research resources (content) and on the communities of scholars, archivists and librarians drawn to, collaborating through and participating in carrying out the mission (community). This dual focus provides the foundation for the vision, mission, and directions for CRRA that the Task Force will propose, all of which are focused on users, collections and a business plan for carrying out our mission.

In the draft plan now accessible on the CRRA site, we outlined directions, initiatives and mission-critical outcomes. The TF will meet again on February 16 and 23, 2012 to identify budget needs and develop priorities (high, medium, low), after which we will submit the proposed plan to the Board for its review and approval. After Board approval, we envision the directions, initiatives and mission critical outcomes can be incorporated as goals and objectives in CRRA annual plans for the next three years. CRRA fiscal years run from July 1 through June 30 of the following year so the next year is Fy2013.

We are deeply grateful to all of the 69 individuals who responded to the CRRA Survey on Strategic Directions for CRRA. We were impressed with the extraordinarily high return in that twenty nine of our thirty institutional members responded. We systematically reviewed all of the key points and priorities, and incorporated many of them into the draft plan. You may wish to consult the CRRA Survey

Results_Conclusions and Analysis_final.pdf which is accessible on the CRRA site but I wanted to let you know about the changes we made.

First, the survey results affirmed the value proposition of the portal as a freely accessible resource. The TF firmly supports the following statements as foundational assumptions and directions:

  • “Keep the portal as a freely discoverable resource.”
  • “Make the Catholic portal the destination for Catholic resources.”
  • “Continue discovery via metadata records with links to full digital content on contributor or other sites as available.”

Second, the TF decided to put our revenue-enhancing efforts into growing the membership and seeking external funds through grants or other contributions. There was some support for generating revenue streams from yet-to-be developed premium value added services for users but at this time, the TF wants a strategic direction aimed toward openly accessible services. There was also some support for developing value-added member services and/or other activities such as conferences for enhancing revenue. However, the TF believes that developing such services or other activities for enhancing revenue would require CRRA to build capacity over and above support for core mission-driven activities and would not be a cost-effective way of significantly enhancing revenue.

We’re ready for your help a second time. Please take a few minutes to review the draft plan and send your comments, questions or suggestions to me or any member of the Task Force.

With appreciation for your insights and commitment to our mission, Lorraine

Date: February 6, 2012

A Draft Strategic Plan for CRRA, from: Lorraine Olley, Chair, Five-year Strategic Planning Task Force

Our mission is to provide enduring global access to Catholic research resources in the Americas. The Task Force employs the “content and community” framework to keep its thinking targeted on strategies for enhancing access to Catholic research resources (content) and on the communities of scholars, archivists and librarians drawn to, collaborating through and participating in carrying out the mission (community). This dual focus will impact the vision, strategies and initiatives for CRRA that the Task Force will propose within the context of our mission.

The next steps are to develop the broad areas with both long term and short term strategies and initiatives. It is important to identify mission critical outcomes as well as strategic directions. The mission critical outcomes can be incorporated as goals and objectives in CRRA annual plans for 2013, 2014, and 2015.

From the Survey Summary: Interpretation of textual (qualitative) responses (p. 2), the statement “Keep portal a freely discoverable resource” should be included as an assumption and “Make the Catholic portal the destination for Catholic resources” should be included in the vision statement, so are not included in the initiatives below. The themes and top priorities from the survey responses were incorporated as appropriate. Where incorporated, the question number and ranking appear to identify that as a priority (for example, see 1.3.4, below). In Survey question 3 (Q3), the #1 ranked response is the continuing initiative “Continue discovery via metadata records with links to full digital content on contributor or other sites as available,” so it is not included in the initiatives below.

Mission: To provide enduring global access to Catholic research resources in the Americas

Format of Plan

  • N. Strategic Direction
  • N.N Initiative (either long- or short-term)
  • N.N.N Mission-critical outcome (action to be incorporated into 2013, 2014 and/or 2015 annual plan)

1. Add value beyond discovery: Transition to discovery and access to full text

1.1 Implement document delivery and access service

  1. 1.1.1  Reciprocal access borrowing/on-site use program among CRRA members
  2. 1.1.2  Scan-on-demand1.1.2.1 Assess the resources needed, investigate existing services, create plan for pilot project. Implement pilot project. Address issues of staffing, equipment, copyright etc. Expand to members over time.

1.2 Enhance the portal interface as a reference tool

  1. 1.2.1  Add pathfinders and web guides
  2. 1.2.2  Add connections for scholars to archivists and librarians who can assist innavigating collections, developing informed relevancy judgments
  3. 1.2.3  Set up reference committee/task force
  4. 1.2.4  Promote use of existing features to add value, allow scholars to addcommentary, notes, annotations, comment, tagging in VuFind

1.3 Develop access to full content on and via the portal

  1. 1.3.1  Expand links to member content in external repositories
  2. 1.3.2  Identify digitizing priorities and encourage digitizing initiatives (newspaperdigitization project)
  1. 1.3.3  Explore implications of aggregating or linking out (centralized or distributed) to full content in external repositories: member content, other content (practicum or independent study project?)
  2. 1.3.4  Include full digital content in a repository hosted by CRRA (Q3. #3 ranking)
  3. 1.3.5  Build and/or partner with a repository platform

1.4 Develop tools for exploiting access to, analysis and use of content (Q3 #2 ranking)

  1. Expand and support pool of participating scholars and students by creating innovative and highly valued services
    2.1 Develop a scholars collaboratory (Q4. #3 ranking)2.1.1 Promote the use of the portal as a center for social engagement by scholars around their research and inquiry (see 1.2)2.1.2 Enable virtual scholarly communities (future VuFind updates?) (forum for scholars to share and identify their interests, enable broader awareness among the scholarly community of common research points of focus.../engage librarians in community to build expert directory, harvesting faculty profile pages, for example: Conduct user studies to find out what scholars most want and need2.1.4 Primary resources or the products of their own research? Scope of the Portal what scholars want?

    2.2 Establish research fellowships for scholars and students for use of Catholic resources

    2.3 Expand outreach for scholars, staff, librarians and archivists

    1. 2.3.1  Outreach to target graduate students in theology, religious studies, history
    2. 2.3.2  Training sessions
    3. 2.3.3  Survey scholarly community
    4. 2.3.4  Get Portal listed as helpful online reference on academic/scholarly associationwebsites
    5. 2.3.5  Engage social media (Twitter, etc) for marketing and outreach
    6. 2.3.6  Showcase unique collections, new additions to the Portal (social media,scholarly associations, Catholic studies units, updates from CRRA, etc)
  2. Grow CRRA collections systematically and collaboratively
    1. 3.1  Provide members with support and training in creating metadata records for portal resources (Q4. #2 ranking)
      1. 3.1.1  Expand mentoring programs for training and contributing records to the Portal
      2. 3.1.2  Connect contributors with support and training with creating metadata records
    2. 3.2  Provide a mechanism for Catholic studies scholars and students to submit metadata and links to related content
    3. 3.3  Expand capacity/ability for members to collaboratively build virtual collections
      1. 3.3.1  Encourage / help members identify collections and resources to add to the portal (focused on themes for commons topics, genres)
      2. 3.3.2  Make thematic virtual collections more obvious on the Portal site
  1. 3.3.3  Expose collections at the top-level while also enabling search (collection-of-the- month, for example...)
  2. 3.3.4  Explore how to associate themes with specific records in the Portal (DAC/student project?)
  3. 3.3.5  Explore strategies for awareness and outreach to collections of interest to the Portal (some members-to-be, some not)
  4. 3.3.6  Explore strategies for understanding trends and directions in scholarly research
  5. 3.3.7  Explore how to relate Portal resources to other Catholic resources

3.4 Continue newspapers (toward the goal of a deep shared repository ) project to locate, provide access to and digitize North American Catholic

  1. 3.5  Place greater emphasis on rare and unique items and collections (including born-digital materials) (Q.2 #1 ranking)
  2. 3.6  Place greater emphasis on other formats such as images, sound, etc. (Q2. #2 ranking)
  3. 3.7  Include resources held by non-members as well as members (Q2. #3 ranking)
  4. 3.8  Support EAD record creation, perhaps with tools such as Archivists’ Toolkit.

3.8.1 Assist institutions to survey and manage their collections

3.9 Provide and/or facilitate collaborative grant opportunities to digitize and describe resources, etc. (Q4 #1 ranking)

3.10 Understand areas of scholarly resources being used through mechanisms such as citation analysis

3.11 Review scope of Portal to assess whether secondary or other scholarly resources should also be part of the Portal, and how to provide access to these resources.

4. Develop collaborative opportunities with organizations with shared missions

  1. 4.1  Develop a network of thought leaders among providers and users
  2. 4.2  Determine strategic partners and formulate productive relationships (Higher level connection with Presidents, as well as project-level collaboration)
    1. 4.2.1  Identify organizations and their missions
    2. 4.2.2  Identify areas or projects of possible collaboration
    3. 4.2.3  Implement regular program of outreach and communication with identified organizations
    4. 4.2.4  Preliminary list of organizations/projects/outreach might include:
      • ACHA on scholars collaboratory
      • Newspaper digitization project (CLA, ATLA, ACDA, and ACHA and ACHA Canada)
      • Preservation partnerships (ex: Library of Congress NDSA)
      • ACCU (Assoc of Catholic Colleges and Universities)
      • AJCU Digital Repository (project relationship)
  • National Catholic Education Association (NCEA)
  • Catholic Press Association
  • USCCB and/or committees (US Council of Catholic Bishops)
  • ACHA, ACRL and others to connect with scholars and Catholic Studies departments in Catholic, other religious and secular colleges and universities
  • Religious orders with significant numbers of institutions of higher education:Sisters of Mercy, Franciscan, Dominicans, Benedictines, Jesuits, etc...
  • Religious section of SAA (Society of American Archivists)
  • ACWR (Archivists for Congregations of Women Religious)
  • Catholic Peace Building Network (example of areas where there are active scholars looking for something that is part of academic department but also elsewhere, multi-institutional...) Partner for content and database building (CPN) Access to materials via the Portal or in the Portal, highlight as branded project, possibly4.3 Look at how we relate to these larger projects and how CRRA fits into these frameworks and national projects
  • Digital Public Library of America (looking at development of smaller collections, might be point of ingest for material over time)
  • Internet Archive
  • LC NDSA (National Digital Stewardship Alliance)
  • NEH National Digital Newspaper Program

5. Develop a sustainable basis (business plan) for carrying out the mission

  1. 5.1  Continue to build the membership base by looking at value proposition for Catholic institutions including advancing the institution’s Catholic mission and identity
  2. 5.2  Continue to build the membership base by looking at value proposition for secular institutions
  3. 5.3  Develop opportunities for institutional support and sponsorship beyond membership
  4. 5.4  Charge a Membership Committee to focus on member recruitment and retention
    1. 5.4.1  Develop options for group membership
    2. 5.4.2  Maintain a dues structure to achieve sustainability of mission and affordability by members
  5. 5.5  Seek endowments, gifts and grants for mission support and projects
  6. 5.6  Pursue partnerships with professional organizations for financial support of projects and events (Q5. #1 ranking)
  7. 5.7  Develop CRRA projects for practicums, internships and possibly special assignments for individuals and CRRA members
  • CRRA Survey on Strategic Directions for CRRA

Survey Results: Conclusions and Analysis:

Survey_Responses: raw.pdf

CRRA Meeting schedule 2012-2013 Please mark your calendars!

Plan to join your CRRA colleagues this summer and fall:

ALA Anaheim June 26, 2012
Plan to join your CRRA colleagues for dinner on June 25 and a morning June 26 meeting. Details in next month’s Update!

Symposium hosted by DePaul University, Chicago Fall 2012
Symposium and CRRA meeting; Date TBD. Details in the March Update!


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