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Center for Policy Studies

Public Affairs Discussion Group

The Future of University Libraries

Arnold Hirshon, MLS, MPA - University Librarian and Associate Provost at Case Western Reserve University
Friday September 21, 2012
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Dampeer Room
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

For a very long time, libraries have been considered central to universities’ missions of research and teaching. That understanding is now threatened in many ways.

First, the expansion of knowledge, or at least publications, makes it more and more difficult for any institution to maintain its collections. And that is exacerbated by publishers’ business models, which often rely on what seems like gouging research libraries.

Second, students and even faculty may expect to find material “on the web” – so neither know how to use nor appreciate the library’s resources. Third, there are divisions within universities about the importance of libraries, and of hardcopy as opposed to electronic collections. Fourth, money is tight. And even when it’s not tight, libraries may not be the priority for either administrators or donors.

Arnold Hirshon’s job is to deal with these challenges for our university. He brings to his position long experience both as a university librarian and official with library consortia that address issues such as terms of access to online content.

All best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guest...

Arnold Hirshon has more than thirty years of experience in the management of non-profit organizations, information technology, higher education, and academic libraries. He has worked with many organizations nationally and internationally to develop strategic, business and technology plans, and to improve library management and operations.

Before coming to Case Western Reserve University Arnold Hirshon was the Chief Strategist and Executive Consultant at LYRASIS, the largest library consortial organization in the United States. From 1999 through 2009, Hirshon served as the Executive Director of NELINET, Inc.. During his tenure at NELINET he launched many new programs, including digital services, consulting, and open source software support and hosting.

Prior to NELINET, Hirshon served as Vice Provost for Information Resources (Chief Information Officer) at Lehigh University, where he was responsible for university academic and administrative computing, telecommunications, and libraries. Previously, he served as the University Librarian at Wright State University, as Associate Director of Libraries at Virginia Commonwealth University, and in library administrative posts at Duke University and Wayne State University.

Hirshon is a Past President of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services. Among many other service assignments, he was Vice-Chair of the OhioLINK Library Advisory Committee. He currently is an advisor for a Carnegie Foundation-funded project to develop new ways to employ technology to advance faculty research at major research universities of South Africa. In addition, since 2000, Hirshon has been a consultant for EIFL, an international organization that brings together technology and information for forty-eight developing countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Hirshon has an extensive scholarly record that includes many monographs, such as Outsourcing Library Technical Services (co-authored with Barbara Winters) and the LYRASIS Library Strategic Planning Toolkit (co-authored with Stephen Spohn). In addition, he is the author of numerous articles in peer-reviewed publications about strategic management and organizational design, technology and library leadership, information service integration, assessment and optimization of operations, and non-profit management. He has lectured in over thirty-five countries on six continents on a wide range of topics, including organizational management, trend spotting and analysis, technology planning, and operations assessment and optimization.

Hirshon holds an MLS from Indiana University and an MPA from Wayne State University.

Where We Meet

The Friday Public Affairs Lunch convenes each Friday when classes are in session, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. We usually meet in the Dampeer Room of Kelvin Smith Library. The Dampeer Room is on the second floor of the library. Occasionally we need to use a different room; that will always be announced in the weekly e-mails.

Parking Possibilities

The most convenient parking is the lot underneath Severance Hall. We regret that it is not free. From that lot there is an elevator up to street level (labeled as for the Thwing Center); it is less than 50 yards from that exit to the library entrance. You can get from the Severance garage to the library without going outside. Near the entry gates - just to the right if you were driving out - there is a door into a corridor. Walk down the corridor and there will be another door. Beyond that door you'll find the entrance to an elevator which goes up to an entrance right inside the doors to Kelvin Smith Library.

Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

September 28: The European Economy and EU Politics. With Elliot Posner, Associate Professor of Political Science***Special Location: Mather House 100***

October 5: Presidents and the Media.
With Jeffrey E. Cohen Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science, Fordham University

October 12: The Future of Primary Care.
With George Kikano MD, Chair, Department of Family Medicine.

October 19: Biblical Rhetoric in the 2012 Elections.
With Timothy K. Beal, Florence Harkness Professor of Religion.***Special Location: Mather House 100***

October 26: Special Event in Memory of Alec Lamis – “Insecure Majorities: Congress and the Permanent Campaign.”
With Frances E. Lee, Professor of Government and Politics, University of Maryland ***Special Location: Wolstein Medical Research Building auditorium, first floor, 2103 Cornell Road. Lunch and Mama Jo’s pies provided.***

November 2: Political Science Department Pre-Election Forecasts.
With Justin Buchler, Associate Professor of Political Science, and colleagues.

November 9: What Just Happened? Open discussion about the election results,
with Joe White, Chair, Department of Political Science.

November 16: Learning from Mad Cows.
With Dr. Pierluigi Gambetti, Professor and Director, Division of Neuropathology and Director, National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center.

November 23: No Session - Thanksgiving Break

November 30: The Medium is the Message: What Happens When Universities Digitize Course Evaluations.
With Timothy J. Fogarty, Professor of Accountancy.

December 7: The “Chicago Boys” Without Pinochet: Privatization and Protest in Chile.
With Diane Haughney, Ph.D.
September 18, 2012

If you would like to reply, submit items for inclusion, or not receive this weekly e-mail please send a notice to:

Upcoming Events

What is the Purpose of the American Economy?: A History Lesson

5th Annual Ubbelohde Lecture with Richard White, Margaret Byrne Professor of American History at Stanford University, Thursday September 20, 2012, 7:30 p.m., Ford Auditorium, Allen Memorial Library Building, Case Western Reserve University, 11000 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH. Free and open to the public. Sponsored by History Associates and the department of history at Case Western Reserve University.

What is the purpose of an economy? So thorough has been the triumph of corporate capitalism that in the twenty-first century the question seems, at least in the United States outside of environmental circles with only marginal political influence, nearly nonsensical.

But over large periods of American history the question was quite meaningful. Nor were alternate answers confined to critics who sought to displace capitalism. Americans assumed that a democratic republic demanded a republican economy. Among many other things, the clash between the free labor North and the slave South was a dispute over the purpose of an economy and whether in a republic the economy had to produce free men as well as abundant goods.

The Art and Culture of Revolt in the Middle East

A Discussion With: Joshua Stacher, Kent State University, Pete Moore, Case Western Reserve University, Nada Shabout, University of North Texas, Jessica Winegar, Northwestern University, Ted Swedenburg, University of Arkansas, and George Trumbull IV, Dartmouth College, Friday September 28, 2012, 3:00-5 p.m., Wolstein Research Building Auditorium, Case Western Reserve University, 2103 Cornell Road, Cleveland, OH 44106. Sponsored by the Northeast Ohio Consortium for Middle East Studies, the Baker-Nord Center for Humanities, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Center for Policy Studies at Case Western Reserve University. This program was also made possible by the generosity of Ms. Eloise Briskin.

Whether graffiti, poetry, songs, or humor, the 2011 uprisings in the Middle East were more than just political events; they were cultural and artistic productions. How did cultural and artistic products figure in the revolts? How have artists in turn been affected by the political changes underway?

The Presidency in a Partisan Era

A Discussion With: Jeffrey E. Cohen, Ph.D. Professor and Chair of Political Science at Fordham University, Thursday October 4, 2012, 4:30-6 p.m., Clark Hall, Room 309, Case Western Reserve University, 11130 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, OH 44106. Sponsored by the Center for Policy Studies at Case Western Reserve University.

On November 6, if we do not have a repeat of 2000, the nation will elect, which means also re-elect or de-elect, a president. When an incumbent runs, the election is mostly a judgment of his performance.

Knowing this, the logical incentive for members of the out-party is to try to ensure that the incumbent president fails. -without getting their own fingerprints on the failure. Many observers believe congressional Republicans and their allies outside Congress have followed this incentive brilliantly over the past four years.

Yet discussions of the current relations between President and Congress often treat it as something new. How unusual is the level of partisan strife, what might be done about it, and what are the implications for the presidency and our government in the future?

September 2012







































About the Friday Lunch Newsletter

If you would like to reply, submit items for inclusion, or not receive this weekly e-mail please send a notice to:

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