Thursday, 12 June 2008

Future of Academic Libraries

I came across an interesting article about the future of academic libraries the other day, and reading over it a few times I thought it might be worth sharing, to get other peoples opinions on it, and hear what their feelings about the trends they think are important for us as a profession.

The article is written by David Lewis, Dean of the IUPUI Library and it was presented at a conference called “visions of change”, you can get a copy here:

As someone starting out in this profession the direction of academic libraries over the next 25 years are obviously of more than passing interest, but I have found a lot of future predictions for libraries are either mired down in specific technology which has just appeared and seem to be the new big thing or are so broad as to be merely tautologies. Lewis gives us broad trends, gives us background to them and discusses them in detail, outlining 5 parts of the model for academic libraries:

1.) Complete the migration from print to electronic collections

2.) Retire legacy print collections

3.) Redevelop the library space

4.) Reposition library and information tools, resources, and expertise

5.) Migrate the focus of collections from purchasing materials to curating content.

I think the most interesting thing about these predictions is that we can see that we are already moving in these directions, the future is now, and I think he manages to give a good account of how we will need to face the challenges that pursuing these directions further will give us. His appraisal of the challenges is balanced and he seems to have a great deal of common sense and genuine concern for academic libraries and their future within institutions. Please have a read and share your thoughts.

1 comment:

KP said...

You have made this paper sound very interesting, I shall definitely be reading it.