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It has been five years since OCLC published its report, “Taking Our Pulse: The OCLC Research Survey of Special Collections and Archives,” a report that prompted many institutions to transform their special collections through a series of recommended shared actions. Using this report as a frame, department heads from different institutions will discuss their experiences and perspectives on the changing environments in their respective Archives and Special Collections departments. How do reorganizations affect us, and can they present opportunities to re-envision department structures? What is the impact of the increase in instruction we provide and how can we address that workload? Are we equipped to be effective partners in the Digital Scholarship arena? Should we be? And where can we receive the professional training needed? Are the “traditional positions” in Special Collections still meaningful in today’s environment? Or is there a need for newly created positions, and if so, what would they be? And how can more collaboration and integration with colleagues outside of Special Collections support the new roles we need to fill?


Presented at the Annual General Meeting of the Society of California Archivists (the theme/title for this year's conference was "Evolution and Innovation"). The presentation was for session 10, "Visions and Realities in Special Collections."



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