Document Type


Journal Title

Against the Grain

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Post-print: the version of the article having undergone peer review but prior to being published

Original Citation

Original publication information:

Makula, A. Y. (2019). “Institutional” repositories, redefined: Reflecting institutional commitments to community engagement. Against the Grain 31(5): 40-41.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Library and Information Science

Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement

True to their name, institutional repositories collect, preserve, and provide open access to the scholarly and creative work generated at a specific institution -- typically, a college or university. But is this focus on capturing and curating the work of institutional members -- faculty, staff, and students -- too narrow? What about institutional partnerships with the local community? By limiting the scope of the IR to the university, are we missing an important opportunity to further institutional goals, to create bridges between the institution and its surrounding neighborhoods, to foster collaboration and to cultivate goodwill? When we reimagine the collection development strategies of our repositories, broadening them to include artifacts borne from institutional collaboration with the local community, we have the ability to showcase the unique ways that our universities and local public populations are working together. This essay will explore why the academic library might expand the reach of the IR beyond its own campus, the benefits and challenges of doing so, and will highlight examples of IRs that feature institutional affiliation with the public.