The AGBU Papazian Library at the American University of Armenia is developing an institutional repository to preserve and disseminate archival material and academic work conducted at AUA. To prepare for the transition, the Library organized an information session on February 22, 2013, inviting Carolyn Runyon, Digital Collections Archivist of the University of Cairo, to present the background and benefits of institutional repositories. In her lecture, titled Using Institutional Repositories to Democratize Knowledge, Runyon presented the value of an institutional repository as both a promotional and a research tool. An expert on institutional repository management, Runyon will assist AUA’s librarians and tech support team in the development of an institutional repository through a series of trainings and workshops. During her presentation, Runyon explained the purpose of an institutional repository, describing it as an online locus to digitally disseminate the intellectual output of an institution. The new repository will allow AUA to preserve archival materials, as well as enhance the university’s research profile. By increasing the availability of scholarly communications, academic work produced at AUA will receive more views, more citations, and more recognition within the global audience. In addition, the new institutional repository will serve as an invaluable learning tool making information more freely accessible at the university, according to Runyon. AUA students will benefit with more timely and effective academic research. “If every scholarly work were free and searchable to teachers, school children, university students, and brilliant autodidacts, we would be able to use the internet as a true source of learning,” she explained, adding that it is with this hope in mind that AUA plans to create its own institutional repository.

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