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Thursday, June 17 • 11:15am - 11:45am
A Collaborative Future within Atla: How Theological Libraries Must Work Together in the Digital Age (On Demand)

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In the foreword to the 2006 Atla open-access volume 'A Broadening Conversation,' Simeon Daly notes, “ATLA has been a catalyst for establishing collaborative projects.” Daly identifies several examples of this collaborative spirit, offering Atla members a heritage to be proud of. Given changes in academic structures in the years since Daly wrote, changes accelerated by the pandemic, a re-evaluation of and renewed invitation to this ideal of collaboration is needed. Cross-institutional collaboration is more important than ever, not only needed for the growth of impact of collections and research, but rather vital for the survival of our institutions and the promotion of our vocational ethos. Fortunately, new technologies afford greater opportunities for collaboration across libraries. So, how are we doing as a collaborative organization? In this paper, I approach this question in two parts. The first part of the paper is descriptive. I highlight some of the past collaborations between theological libraries, many fostered by Atla, and identify their origins and outcomes. I then consider present projects that involve multiple theological libraries working together. The bulk of the paper, though, is prescriptive, calling for theological libraries to work together in the digital age and suggesting ways that this may work. As the roles for, perceptions about, and budgets of libraries undergo dramatic change, I call for increased collaboration in a few key areas of work and invite reflection on what role our professional organization may play in our work together.

avatar for Richard Manly Adams

Richard Manly Adams

Director of Pitts Theology Library and Margaret A. Pitts Assistant Professor in the Practice of Theological Bibliography, Emory University - Pitts Theology Library

Thursday June 17, 2021 11:15am - 11:45am CDT