Jim Neal comments about leadership and R&D

Academic and research libraries are expanding their leadership in research and development activities. R&D is about new knowledge creation and progressive results.  A successful R&D agenda should build on individual interests, organizational priorities, professional importance, and national need.  A R&D enterprise in the library creates a laboratory for experimentation.  It is a magnet for new staff with new skills and capabilities.

It is a venue for collaboration with faculty and with the private sector.  It helps to address process, information, and technology problems.  A R&D enterprise in the library opens opportunities for capitalization and technology transfer, and for foundation and government funding.  It expands library credibility and visibility.  It supports decision making. It creates a more entrepreneurial and risk taking culture in the library.

R&D contributes to library innovation:  applying new knowledge to new resources to produce new goods or new services (Market), the lowering of costs so as to increase the benefits (Value), and forcing us to think deliberately about challenges and unmet needs (Solutions).  R&D is about organizational transformation: changing in composition and structure, that is what we are and what we do; changing the outward form or appearance, that is how we are viewed and understood; and changing in character of condition, that is how we do it.