Four areas for the future of Academic Libraries
Guest Post by Dr. Stacey Greenwell, Associate Dean, Academic Affairs and Research at the University of Kentucky Libraries, the founding chair of the SLA Academic Division, and is currently teaching New Directions in Academic Libraries at Syracuse University.
Disruptions in the higher education model are forcing its evolution, which in turn requires us to think differently about library spaces, services, policies, and collections. In an environment where “because we’ve always done it that way” is not an option, library leadership need to support staff creativity through encouraging new, user-focused ideas. Increasingly we need to ask “why” and not be afraid to fail.
In a culture of assessment, demonstrating library value is essential. Library leadership should strive to show the return on investment in the library. Tying library services into student learning outcomes or correlating library usage with learning and student success are two growing directions for academic libraries.
Logically the library can play a greater role in data management, providing support and resources for faculty and researchers. Libraries are perfectly poised to lead efforts to organize research data and institutional content, create metadata, and promote accessibility. In 2014 and beyond, expect this to be a growing initiative in academic libraries.
Moving beyond the commons concept, academic libraries are bundling multiple services online and in facilities to support students and faculty. Working with campus and community partners is vital to be successful in providing expertise and promoting these services, particularly in developing e-science services, digital humanities centers, and other specialized content creation support services.
The conversation about the near future of libraries includes us all. Share your thoughts on directions and trends that will impact libraries in 2014 with the tag #4for14 More info about the #4for14 meme
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