In the fall of 2012 Columbia, Duke and Yale Universities sponsored a workshop in New Haven, CT which for the first time brought together librarians and mid-level administrators responsible for the oversight and coordination of area studies collections and staff at their respective home universities. Dubbed “International and Area Studies Collections in the 21st Century” (IASC21), the new group began to cooperatively identify and address mutual concerns such as training, recruitment, digital content and finances. A year later, and after enlisting more participants, the group used the occasion of the Indiana University Workshop on Area Studies to come together again (attendance was both physical and virtual) to continue identifying shared needs and objectives, including those related to communication.

Other well-publicized discussions about the state of area studies in the academy and in libraries have taken place in this same two year period, most notably the Duke Forum on “Global Dimensions of Scholarship” and those related to changes within and challenges to Title VI , discussions geared towards and engaged in by high-level administrators (notably library and National Resource Center directors). However, in practice it is the IASC21 group that both provides the context and content for those discussions and ultimately IASC21 will be the group that actually scrutinizes and implements any changes resulting from those discussions. As such, the IASC21 group is essential to the successful realization of the transformations we hope to engender in area studies librarianship.

Building upon these developments and previously identified group goals, we invite you to a 3rd workshop meeting of the IASC21 group in Austin, TX on November 6-7, 2014.

Our “Yale Meeting” identified a number of actionable items that we are still working through, including the development of a “toolkit” of resources related to “methods for assessment and documenting impact,” “talking points for highlighting the importance of global/international/area collection activities,” and a “repository for job descriptions, shared data, etc.” In an effort to continue building upon these goals, the overarching themes of this hands-on workshop will be “Assessment and Communication.”