The New Shape of Sharing:

Networks, expertise, information

An online forum on European librarianship

January 11 - April 19, 2021


Sponsored by the Collaborative Initiative for French Language Collections (CIFNAL) and the German-North American Resources Partnership (GNARP), working projects of the Center for Research Libraries.
Image source: detail of "Veduta della catena" by Francesco Petrini and Raffaello Petrini (1887). Held by Museo di Palazzo Vecchio, Florence.

Librarians in North America have long-standing relationships with Western European libraries and materials vendors to support research in the humanities and to maintain non-English collections. In today’s research and budgetary environments there are increasing pressures on the traditional humanities, while developments in technology and large-scale initiatives offer new opportunities for collaboration among libraries, publishers, and content suppliers.

The New Shape of Sharing: Networks, Expertise, Information continues conversations begun at the New Direction Symposium held in Frankfurt in 2017. This multi-day working forum, sponsored by the Collaborative Initiative for French Language Collections (CIFNAL), the German-North American Resources Partnership (GNARP)—both working projects of the Center for Research Libraries (Chicago, USA)—was originally scheduled to be hosted by Casalini Libri on May 11-14, 2020 in Fiesole, Italy. The in-person event was postponed indefinitely due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

We hope this online series on key issues facing Western European collections and public services will encourage debate and surface new ideas. The sessions will focus on three areas: new models for collaborative collection development and services; the growing range of content and format types and their significance for libraries and researchers; and the evolving role of libraries and librarians in the research process.

The multiple effects of the pandemic on libraries and academic institutions clearly demonstrate that the topics chosen for the forum—cooperation and sharing of collections, services, and technology among libraries, scholars, and members of the book and publishing communities—are particularly pertinent in today’s library environment. The planning committee believes that these discussions are too important to wait until we are able to meet in person, so we have transitioned the forum to a series of online presentations. We hope you can join us!

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
Ponte Vecchio , Florence © Andrea Ferro www.focusontheworld.net