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Uncommonly In Common

Colleagues from JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) Rachel Bruce and Neil Jacobs visited CDL on October 29. We have often met with various representatives from JISC who have been engaged in many of the initiatives, services and issues that are CDL’s priorities. It is often difficult to understand the vast organizational structure of JISC and match its components specifically to our interests although we have regular and productive interaction with the Digital Curation Centre. Rachel has the wonderful title of “Innovation Director, e-Infrastructure” which is the R&D arm of JISC. As she gave an overview of their areas of interest, it was not only that their list of priorities and initiatives that paralleled most of ours, it was also their coordinating role amongst a diverse group of institutions that sounded very familiar in its challenges and rewards. After drilling down into specific topics around web archiving, scholarly communication, mass digitization and the HathiTrust, digital preservation, and especially the whole concept of shared services, we felt we were kindred spirits. We left with a list of potential topics for future exploration including how to measure value and impact and “make the case” for services, shared service models, the ecology of services for scholarship and determining where we can add value, and how to collaborate with other similar organizations. We look forward to future engagement with them as our counterparts–assuming we didn’t scare them away with our over the top Halloween party with the theme “Spooky Books”. CDL is known for its enthusiasm for the October event and staff truly outdid themselves this year, orchestrated by “Team New Blood.” It will be hard to top next year.