Library Committee Handbook

Executive Committee



Area Studies Division: SWOT analysis

STRENGTHS

- Dedicated library faculty and staff with deep area, language, and subject expertise;
- Excellent collections, among the best in the nation, representing US and all major areas of the world outside North America and Western Europe;
- Excellent resources of Title 6 National Resource Centers and Title 8 State Department grants. Funding for collections, staff, and travel totaled over $220,000 during the past year. We also have excellent area centers/programs and faculty support, including workshops and outreach programs for the community;
- Excellent national and international relationships and partnership;
- International focus and interdisciplinary approach to research, emphasizing on vernacular sources. A large number of important research materials have never been or will never be translated into English. It is hard to imagine a serious scholar of international affairs who will
not use original and primary sources in vernacular languages.


WEAKNESSES

- In comparison with major academic libraries, Area Studies lack of appropriate funding for us to reach the goal of being preeminent as envisioned by the campus administration;
- Lack of sufficient funding to meet challenges in newer areas such as Middle East and Central Asia, and lack of funding and staff support to develop other areas of the world in the Division, such as Southeast Asia;
- Lack of clear connection to Global Studies efforts;

- Lack of resources to collect more deeply in English and other Western languages;
- Lack of resources to showcase our treasured collections;
- Lack of appropriate library space, poor facilities.


OPPORTUNITIES

- Deeper connections with fast growing ethnic and Diaspora studies programs;
- Deeper connections with humanities and social sciences divisions;
- More collaboration with GSLIS to promote international librarianship;
- Collaboration with the newly formed Center for Computing in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (Center for CHASS) to enhance the visibility of Area Studies as a digitally innovative division in the Library.


THREATS

- Misconception equating “global studies” with area studies;
- Misconception as seeing area studies as primarily humanities, not social sciences or professional disciplines or science and technology;
- Lack of understanding that print resources are still important to Area Studies in the foreseeable future;
- Overcentrralization of public and technical services that might hinder the economy and efficiency of Area Studies operations.