Mutual benefit


Image By liftarn ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

As I was preparing last week’s post, I listened to a webinar that touched upon a theme from the last two SSL Boot Camp presentations.

In their session Barbara Esty and Kevin Garewal (Baker Library, Harvard Business School) discussed legal and ethical limitations to data mining.  They advised researchers to be specific about what data they want and why they want to use it.  Such information can help in negotiating a workable solution for everyone involved.

Karen Downing (University of Michigan Library) demonstrated grantwriting resources.  She noted a common grant-seeking challenge: failure to fully connect the project to the funder’s mission.

Library consultant Joan Frye Williams made a similar point in a June 18 webinar.  She urged listeners to focus on the partnering relationship first.  She also noted that, when seeking  partners, we should look at our assets and not simply our needs.  Then any resulting projects would best meet the needs of both parties.  Though she wasn’t talking about grant-seeking or research, she touched upon the issue of reciprocity.  How can we develop not only partnerships, but mutually beneficial ones?


Williams, J. F. (2014, June 18). Asset-based collaboration [Archived presentation]. Retrieved from