Supporting Research in Area Studies - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781843347903, 9781780634715

Supporting Research in Area Studies

1st Edition

A Guide for Academic Libraries

Authors: Lesley Pitman
eBook ISBN: 9781780634715
Paperback ISBN: 9781843347903
Imprint: Chandos Publishing
Published Date: 19th August 2015
Page Count: 124
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Supporting Research in Area Studies: A Guide for Academic Libraries focuses on the study of other countries or regions of the world, crossing traditional disciplinary boundaries in the humanities and social sciences. The book provides a comprehensive guide for academic libraries supporting communities of researchers, exploring the specialist requirements of these researchers in information resources, resource discovery tools, information skills, and the challenges of working with materials in multiple languages.

The book makes the case that adapting systems and procedures to meet these needs will help academic libraries be better placed to support their institutions’ international agenda. Early chapters cover the academic landscape, its history, area studies, librarianship, and acquisitions. Subsequent chapters discuss collections management, digital products, and the digital humanities, and their role in academic projects, with final sections exploring information skills and the various disciplinary skills that facilitate the needs of researchers during their careers.

Key Features

  • Describes the nature of area studies research and the traditional strengths of area studies librarianship in supporting inter- and trans-disciplinary research
  • Applies the latest thinking in research support in university libraries to the specific needs of the area studies research community in the United Kingdom and United States
  • Explores how internationalizing systems and processes can bring broader benefits to the university as a whole
  • Analyzes the particular issues caused by working with content and systems in multiple languages


Library school students working on the changing agenda for research support; Area studies librarians and Managers of subject teams; and Library managers interested in making their libraries more international

Table of Contents

  • About the Author
  • Introduction
  • 1: Area studies: The academic landscape
    • Abstract
    • Definitions and controversies
    • A brief history of area studies
    • Area studies today
  • 2: Area studies librarianship
    • Abstract
    • Recruitment and training
    • Area librarianship in the staffing structure
    • Skills and the changing agenda in research support
  • 3: Area studies collections 1: Acquisitions
    • Abstract
    • Selection
    • Budgets and finance
    • “Just-in-case” versus “just-in-time”
    • National initiatives
    • Procurement and vendors
    • E-books
    • Barriers to acquisition
    • Questions of ethics
  • 4: Area studies collections 2: Collection management
    • Abstract
    • Collection assessment: judging the quality of an area studies collection
    • The national and international context, or, where are the collections?
    • Collaborative collection management
  • 5: Digital resources for area studies
    • Abstract
    • Electronic publishing
    • Digitisation projects
    • Creating and curating digital content
  • 6: Resource discovery and systems: Barriers to access in area studies
    • Abstract
    • Hidden collections
    • Classification and access
    • Cataloguing and metadata
  • 7: Library support and services for area studies researchers
    • Abstract
    • Information skills training
    • Designing core services for area studies researchers
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Appendix: List of useful organisations for area studies librarians
    • AAMES
    • ALC
    • CEAL
    • CLIR
    • MELA
    • Melcom International
    • MELCOM (UK)
    • NACIRA
    • SALALM
    • SALG
    • SCOLMA
    • SEES
    • WESS
  • Index


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Chandos Publishing
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About the Author

Lesley Pitman

Lesley Pitman is Librarian and Director of Information Services at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies Library in London, a research collection of international importance dating back to 1915. She is currently responsible for devising and implementing UCL Library Services’ strategy for research support across the institution, and has also been involved in managing a number of externally funded digitisation projects, including most recently the EuropeanaTravel project funded by the EU. She was Chair of COSEELIS for nine years, and is one of the founding managers of the CoFoR collaborative collection management partnership for Russian and East European Studies in the UK. Her professional interests and writings range from library buildings to digitisation and the digital humanities

Affiliations and Expertise

Librarian and Director of Information Services, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies Library, London, UK

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