The expansion of the Digital Initiatives program beyond archives and special collections is creating new paradigms and opportunities in collaboration across the University of Toledo. Shifting economic realities and priorities, however, have prompted academic institutions to realign services in support of online learning, electronic publishing, and other high-priority strategic goals. Legacy projects to digitize collections of photographs, recordings, rare books, historical newspapers, and maps remain important, but archives and academic libraries may consider new directions in academic knowledge management. In fact, strategies and practices rooted in knowledge management may help academic institutions develop innovative services and resources, promote new paradigms for collaboration, improve workflows, and operate more efficiently. This paper focuses on Digital Initiatives projects the University of Toledo Libraries undertaken during its first year. The paper presents definitions and key concepts in knowledge management (KM) and addresses how institutions can use academic knowledge management as a context for the DI program. Three knowledge domains— scholarly, curricular, and operational—characterize and distinguish academic institutions from other organizations. The intellectual landscape of interdisciplinarity presents opportunities for academic libraries to engage with faculty. Finally, the discussions of University of Toledo Digital Initiatives projects demonstrate that a DI role in academic knowledge management is a viable strategy, and underscore the connection between knowledge management theory and practice in the selected projects.
This article was based on the conference paper presented at the 2010 Annual meeting of the Special Libraries Association in New Orleans. The paper was published on the conference site but has since been removed.
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The University of Toledo
University of Toledo Libraries
Digital Initiatives, The University of Toledo Libraries
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