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a collaboration to create the 21st century academic health sciences library…

Academic Library Futures, from Stephen’s Lighthouse

by Stephen Abram…

Thanks to Frank Cervone for pointing to this video and commenting on a session entitled “The Future of the Academic Library: Space, Digitization, Access, and Curation in the New World of Information” (available via streaming video) where Susan Perry pointed out 10 major issues libraries need to consider as they plan and develop services. The entire list of issues can be found at Tracy Mitrano’s post The Future of the Academic Library – Law, Policy — and IT? (highlights below). Frank’s top 4 are:

  1. Within ten years, most academic information will be available in digital format, so the need for space for collections really will markedly decrease;
  2. Librarians today need to be: intellectually curious, collaborative, technologically sophisticated, good teachers, and adaptable because things are changing to quickly to not be all of these things;
  3. While the Open Source movement is making many learning materials and computer applications freely available, maintenance of the applications requires staff. It is completely unreasonable to think you can build an infrastructure based on open-source without developing the necessary skills within your staff to maintain these applications;
  4. Digital asset management and production is the name of the game for the archives of the future;
    Helping students find and evaluate accurate information is probably the most important roles for librarians now. In order to do this librarians, instructional technologists, as well as faculty, must work together.

The Future of the Library — Ten Things to Keep in Mind

  1. Within ten years, most academic information will be available in digital format.
  2. The campus network is vital to your information delivery system/library. Now is the time to assure that it is robust and can remain so.
  3. Librarians today need to be: intellectually curious, collaborative, technologically sophisticated, good teachers, and adaptable.
  4. Purchasing and cataloging functions are changing rapidly and the need for traditional technical services staff is shrinking.
  5. Licensing, rather than purchasing, material is prevalent.
  6. The Open Source movement is making many learning materials and computer applications freely available. However, maintenance of the applications requires staff. It is a trade-off between purchased applications with support and open source applications that you have to support yourself.
  7. Digital asset management and production is becoming the name of the game.
  8. Helping students find and evaluate accurate information is one of the most important roles for librarians now. In order to do this well, they need to work closely with faculty.
  9. Libraries are becoming the group study and social centers for many campuses, as well as the place to explore new information, tools and ways of developing and sharing information. Some library areas are beginning to look like Apple Computer Stores. These are often the most heavily used areas within the library.
  10. To support these new learning centers well, librarians and instructional technologists, as well as faculty, must work together.

Read the two posts and watch the video for some conversation starters about the future in academic libraries.

Stephen — Here!!

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Filed under: Administrative Issues, Issues and Challenges, New Libraries

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