Outreach, Digital Scholarship, Institutional Repository


“If you build it, they will come,” asserts the omniscient narrator in the movie Field of Dreams. This magical sentiment rings true in a baseball setting, where zealous fandoms believe ardently in their teams and heroes. In the field of institutional repositories, however… well, it takes a little more time and effort! Specifically, you have to build it, promote it, populate it, and consistently demonstrate the value of it to students and faculty!

This poster describes how a subject librarian partnered with institutional repository managers to build and grow the digital scholarly presence of a college within the university’s institutional repository. Over the course of seven years, the college’s digital presence went from zero to a rich repository of conferences, journals, file collections, student theses & dissertations, and faculty scholarship. During that time the college’s collections on the institutional repository have generated more than 143,000 downloads in 205 countries, and the college’s placement in the Shanghai “Global Rankings of Academic Subjects” has steadily increased from 20th to 2nd in the world. Data and charts will be presented documenting the collections’ growth and usage.

The college’s digital collections also directly promote equity and inclusion efforts of the university. Diversity-themed events highlighted through the institutional repository include a Women’s Hospitality Leadership Forum and a USA-China Tourism Research Summit. Research institute reports highlight partnerships with researchers in Aruba, Curacao, Japan, and other countries. Most significantly, adding the college’s research output to a freely accessible institutional repository (discoverable via Google and other standard search engines) has extended scholarship to researchers around the world, including those who do not have access to well-funded university libraries or expensive publisher journal packages. Data and charts on readership distribution from various parts of the world will be presented.

The poster will also highlight the key strategies employed in building this massive digital presence, including:

  • Leveraging relationships with subject faculty, administrators, and marketing officers
  • Collaborating to archive conferences, journals, and photo collections
  • Populating the faculty collection through monthly inclusion of newly published journal articles
  • Sending usage reports to faculty, reinforcing the usage and value of the collections

The poster will also touch on limitations and lessons learned along the way, while keeping the focus on the positive possibilities. Ultimately, the message is that if you build it… and if you consistently promote it and foster good collaboration with all key stakeholders… then, yes, they will come!

Publication Date


Document Type





Association of College & Research Libraries


Academic Affairs



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