The International and Area Studies Library invited the public to tour the new library space and participate in a celebratory library opening reception on Tuesday, March 6, 2012. The IAS Library is composed of almost two million volumes in more than 40 different languages. Area and thematic collections include: Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Slavic and east Europe, Global Studies and European Union Studies. The new library space will foster global competency knowledge and supplement opportunities for student and scholar collaboration. It will also allow for coordination among different area specialists via one specific service and access point.
At 4 p.m., attendees gathered for a speech by Dr. Deborah Jakubs, the Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs at Duke University. Jakubs discussed challenges area studies libraries are facing in today’s economy and then went on to discuss strategies international and area studies libraries are using. Some of these strategies include joint digital libraries, grey literature preservation, joint buying, deepening local collections and decreasing collection development in areas well covered elsewhere among others. Jakubs also examined the demand for knowledge on global issues in today’s climate and noted that students’ education is becoming globalized. Jakubs then encouraged international and area studies libraries to understand demand and interests levels when deciding on areas to collect in and the need for libraries to study the prevalence of different types of library materials around the globe, citing the question of how often e-books are used in the Middle East.
Jakubs closed her speech asking the audience a series of questions and then opened the floor up for the audience to ask her questions. A discussion between the audience and Jakubs ensued, citing global awareness, digitization, issues facing libraries around the world, Mexico’s consideration to produce only digital documents, the extent of English language library materials overlap, the levels of trust that cause it, how to avoid this with foreign language materials and policy regarding donations to libraries. After the speech, the audience was invited up to the IAS Library for a reception.