--Reprinted by permission from Current Cites 18(9) (September 2007)
Monday, October 1, 2007
Strategy for Academic Libraries
Lewis, David W. "A Strategy for Academic Libraries in the First Quarter of the 21st Century" College & Research Libraries 68(5)(September 2007): 418-434. - At a library assessment conference a year ago, John Lombardi, then Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, explained that although he had depended on libraries and librarians in his professional career, he no longer knew what an academic library should be. Lewis took this message as a challenge to articulate a "strategy for academic libraries in the digital age or at least in its early stages." His strategy has five parts: 1) complete the migration from print to electronic collections; 2) retire legacy print collections; 3) redeploy library space as informal learning spaces; 4) move library tools and resources to where the users are (e.g. course management systems); and 5) shift the focus from purchasing collections to curating locally owned and produced unique and special collections. Whether you agree with his strategy or not, Lewis' article makes for an excellent catalyst to start these discussions with your staff.