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The central purpose of an institutional repository (IR) is providing open access to scholarship. That scholarship originates primarily through the work of faculty and students at research institutions, leading research libraries to embrace IRs and the scholarly communication movement. IRs typically include student theses and dissertations and faculty publications but sometimes extend far beyond to institutional records and documents. Launching an IR requires significant collaborative work across disparate specialties and institutional structures to establish policies, workflows, configure metadata and technology for retrieval, and fashion outreach and ongoing support to the administrators and ultimately provide mediated support to the scholars who produce the scholarship. The University of Louisville recently launched ThinkIR ( by building on a foundation of a decade’s work with theses and dissertations (ETDs) through Technical Services. UofL is now growing ThinkIR by leveraging the talents of other library faculty and staff with legal, outreach, archival, technical, and administrative skills not only to effectively manage those requirements but also to reflect the needs and skills of the seemingly disparate specialties, fostering a broader understanding of the IR within the Libraries and UofL community. IRs by history and existence embody the changing roles of academic libraries and allow scholars to broadly share and successfully manage their long term interests in their scholarship. This presentation will explore those themes and address how, led by a cross-unit Scholarly Communication and Data Management Team, we have spanned past practices, evolving best practices, and the unique needs of our campus to collaboratively build ThinkIR.


This presentation was given at the Ohio Valley Group of Technical Services Librarians (OVGTSL) annual conference at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky on May 26, 2016.