As I was browsing around the Educause site looking for something for the previous post, I tripped across this Jan/Feb 2006 Educase Review article titled: Changing a Cultural Icon: The Academic Library as a Virtual Destination. Here's the abstract:
Deep into the digital age, academic libraries have relinquished much of their fundamental and sustaining role. For most people, including academicians, the library—in its most basic function as a source of information—has become overwhelmingly a virtual destination.It's written by Jerry Campbell, CIO and Dean of University Libraries at UCLA, and I think this is an important article. The question is what will become of the academic library in the next decade? I loved the quote from Clifford Lynch from 1997, in which he says,
"Now that we are starting to see, in libraries, full-text showing up online, I think we are very shortly going to cross a sort of a critical mass boundary where those publications that are not instantly available in full-text will become kind a second-rate in a sense, not because their quality is low, but jmust because people will prefer the accessibility of things they can get right away..."No kidding! Mention of the launch of Google Book Search and the Open Content Alliance. See where this is going? Who's going to need a physical library soon? The bulk of the article is taken up with a discussion of 7 (is this the magic Educause number?) "creative and useful services that have eveloved within academic libraries in the digital age". Jerry feels that "some or one of them may indeed prove to hold the key to the future of the academic library." They are; Providing quality learning spaces, Creating metadata, Offering virtual reference services, Teaching information literacy, Choosing resources and managing resource licenses, Collecting and digitizing archival materials, and Maintaning digital repositories.
Educause Review is read by administrators outside the library. Are you prepared to talk about what your library is doing in these areas? 'Cause you're going to get questions about them in the near future, if you haven't already.