Chuck Henry on the Future of the Liberal Arts College Library

2:00pm - 3:00pm EST February 6, 2013

As part of NITLE’s continuing series on the future of the liberal arts college library, this seminar provides a good general introduction to the thinking at one of the top library brain trusts in the United States: the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). For those who already have a sense of CLIR’s thinking and want to introduce it to others, we encourage you to bring your campus colleagues into our collective conversation. Faculty, librarians, instructional technologists, and others from the NITLE Network are invited to attend: attendance by institutional teams is strongly encouraged. Individuals are also welcome to participate. (Times EST)

We open the second semester of our library series by turning to one of the foremost thinkers about the library of the future: Charles J. Henry, president of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). Dr. Henry will reflect on his recent research and experience, describing the emergent CLIR Committee on Coherence at Scale and considering what this and other large-scale projects mean for the NITLE Network community. Dr. Henry’s efforts highlight the need to involve others within and beyond institutional boundaries, abandoning inter-campus competition and a sometimes absurd redundancy of efforts and fees in favor of deep collaboration and willful dependencies.


Charles Henry is the president of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). Previously, Dr. Henry was the Vice Provost and University Librarian at Rice University, where he was responsible for library services and programs, including the Digital Library Initiative and the Digital Media Center. He served as publisher of Rice University Press, the nation’s first all-digital university press and was a member of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Commission on Cyberinfrastructure in the Humanities and Social Sciences. He serves on the board of directors for the Center for Research Libraries and is a member of the Scientific Board of the Open Access Publishing in the European Network (OAPEN) project. He is a member of NITLE’s advisory board and publisher of Anvil Academic Publishing, an exclusively digital scholarly publisher focused on supporting new forms of scholarly research and argument. Anvil is a joint project of CLIR and NITLE.

Dr. Henry has written dozens of publications and has received numerous grants and awards, including from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and the J. Paul Getty Trust. He received a Fulbright senior scholar grant for library sciences in New Zealand and more recently in China, and a Fulbright award for the study of medieval literature in Vienna, Austria. He holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Columbia University, among other degrees.

About the Future of the Liberal Arts College Library series

The Future of the Liberal Arts College Library seminar series is part of NITLE’s continuing effort to engage members of the NITLE Network in conversation around this important topic. Over the course of the year, the series will bring librarians, faculty, and interested others from NITLE’s member campuses together to explore principal elements: What is the future of the liberal arts? the future of the liberal arts college? the future of the library? 

By asking these questions, exploring potential answers, and engaging stakeholders from across the NITLE Network in sharing their diverse perspectives, we prepare the groundwork for moving on to the next step: joint and individual action. These discussions are aimed at inspiring and guiding us in strategically crafting campus policy that supports intra- and inter-campus collaborative connections. Ideas generated and feedback gathered via this seminar series will inform development of NITLE Shared Libraries.

Because broad engagement across diverse viewpoints is key to developing strategies that are actually effective in the long run, we encourage stakeholders from member campuses to participate regularly in this seminar series, recruit campus colleagues to join the discussion, and to use seminar discussions as fuel for ongoing conversation on campus.

Series Hashtag

Participants are encouraged to share their thoughts on Twitter via this series’ hashtag: #LAClibrary.


Registration for this event is closed. (Participation in NITLE Shared Academics events is open to all active member institutions of the NITLE Network as a benefit of membership and as space allows. No additional registration fee applies.)


For more information about this event, please contact Sean Johnson Andrews at

NITLE Shared AcademicsTM models a new approach to liberal education – made possible through strategic collaboration, driven by shared knowledge, and supported by emerging technologies. Campuses learn how inter-institutional academic exchange works by actively participating in it, building the knowledge and experience to re-architect liberal education.