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    Tracy Mitrano explores the intersection where higher education, the Internet and the world meet (and sometimes collide).

The Future of the Academic Library
July 28, 2010 - 2:30pm

In the next few blogs I will highlight some moments from the Institute for Computer Policy and Law held last week at Cornell in Ithaca, New York.

Five sessions were captured on video and archived. They can be found at this page:

Today's blog is a shout out to Susan Perry and Jay Schafer. (All presenter's affiliations may be found here:

Seated as if by a pool, imaginary cocktail umbrellas in their imaginary cocktails, Susan and Jay had a casual conversation about the topic that in all seriousness has been their life work. The conversation revolved around a list of "Ten Things To Keep in Mind" that Susan uses when she speaks as a representative of the Mellon Foundation with academic librarians in American Universities in countries all over the world. With her permission, the list is below. The questions around these points are for readers to comment in the box below the blog.

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.

Please discuss!


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