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Ongoing evolution of the Benjamin S. Rosenthal (BRL), Multimedia Commons was initially informed by a report from an internal task force and also by a four-year-long study of North American academic library media services units. A travel grant allowed for visits to the media service units of Barnard College, College of Staten Island - City University of New York, Columbia University, Georgetown University, New York University, University of Maryland - College Park, University of Massachusetts – Amherst, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, University of Texas – Austin. Visits have subsequently been made to the University of Washington – Seattle, Vassar College, and to Bibliotheque de l’Universite Laval.

This presentation will reveal the needs that surfaced during my visits and related research which command up-to-date standards, new best practices, and current skill sets that are essential to plan effective academic media facilities, staffing and services. Attention to these issues is critically important because academic faculty librarians rely upon service guidelines that were revised and published by the national library association in 2006 yet only address media services in broad, general strokes and do not provide a current comprehensive listing of what defines effectiveness across the media services domains listed above. Similarly, this presentation will attempt to fill a gap in the library science literature which offers few recent benchmarking or standards publications related to media services. M. J. Miller 2 By investigating and reporting on current service standards, practices, inter-institutional relationships, and staffing skill sets, managers of academic library media services units and their other collaborating academic partners will better be able to understand the needs demanded of today’s multimedia learning service units. All will better be able to support and collaborate and, most importantly, to provide effective services and support to students. Finally, managers of academic media services units will be able to fully understand, demonstrate, and advocate for appropriate levels of integration and support of the media services unit both within the academic library and across the parent institution.



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