Entries Tagged 'Future of Libraries' ↓

Explore the future with ACRL

CHICAGO — The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has released a new report, “Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians: Higher Education in 2025,” to prompt academic librarians to consider what trends may impact the future of higher education in order to take strategic action now. The report is available on the ACRL Web site at http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/issues/value/futures.cfm.

Authored by David J. Staley, director of the Harvey Goldberg Center for Excellence in Teaching in the History Department of Ohio State University, and Kara J. Malenfant, ACRL scholarly communications and government relations specialist, the report presents 26 possible scenarios for the future which may have an impact on all types of academic libraries over the next 15 years. The scenarios are based on implications assessment of current trends and reflect a variety of potential futures for higher education.

“We felt it was important to focus on the long term future out as a way for academic librarians to open their minds and free their thinking,” said ACRL President Lori A. Goetsch of Kansas State University. “The possible futures outlined in the report provide an excellent opportunity to imagine what our world may look like in the next decade and apply that imagination to the current strategic planning process.”

The scenarios represent a variety of themes relating to academic culture, demographics, distance education, funding, globalization, infrastructure/facilities, libraries, political climate, publishing industry, societal values, students/learning and technology. They are organized in a “scenario space” visualization tool, reflecting the expert judgment of ACRL members as to their expectations and perceptions about the probability, impact, speed of change and threat/opportunity potential of each scenario. The study focuses on implications of these futures for academic libraries and includes a step-by-step activity for academic librarians to undertake scenario thinking in their libraries.

For more information on the report and futures research, listen to a podcast conversation with the authors on the ACRL Insider blog.

Contact:  Kara J. Malenfant
ACRL Scholarly Communications and Government Relations Specialist
(312) 280-2510
kmalenfant@ala.org

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ACRL is a division of the American Library Association, representing more than 12,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments. ACRL is on the Web at http://www.acrl.org/, Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ala.acrl and Twitter at @ala_acrl.

ACRL issues RFP for value of academic libraries research

CHICAGO — The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) is seeking proposals from experienced researchers for the development and delivery of a comprehensive review of the quantitative and qualitative literature, methodologies and best practices currently in place for demonstrating the value of academic libraries. The request for proposals is available on the ACRL Web site at http://www.acrl.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/issues/ACRL_RFP_Value.pdf. Responses are due by 4:30 p.m. CST on Nov. 2, 2009.

The current economic climate and the increased emphasis on assessment and outcomes have forced academic departments’ higher education administrators to make tough decisions regarding the funding of programs and units at their institutions. The relevance of libraries is under question.�� Now, more than ever, there is a need for libraries to demonstrate their value in clear, measurable ways to leaders in higher education, information technology, funding agencies and campus decision makers in order to secure adequate funding for their operations.

The primary objective of the comprehensive review is to provide ACRL leaders with a clearer understanding of what research already exists and where gaps occur in research about the performance of academic libraries. Additionally, this review will provide ACRL members with tools and strategies to demonstrate the value of academic libraries to their institutional leadership.

Direct questions to Mary Ellen K. Davis, ACRL executive director, at mdavis@ala.org or (312) 280-3248, or to Kara Malenfant, ACRL scholarly communications/government relations specialist, at kmalenfant@ala.org or (312) 280-2510.

Contact: Mary Ellen K. Davis
ACRL
(312) 280-3248
mdavis@ala.org

 

Kara Malenfant
ACRL
(312) 280-2510
kmalenfant@ala.org

 

 

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ACRL is a division of the American Library Association (ALA), representing nearly 13,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments.

ACRL explores the future of academic libraries

CHICAGO – The 2007 environmental scan by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) explores the current atmosphere in the world of academic and research libraries along with trends that will define the future of academic and research librarianship and the research environment. The report is available online at http://www.acrl.org/ala/acrl/acrlpubs/whitepapers/Environmental_Scan_2.pdf.

The document builds on earlier ACRL reports, including “Top Issues Facing Academic Libraries” (http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/publications/crlnews/2002/nov/topissuesfacing.cfm), issued in 2002, and the 2003 environmental scan. The 2007 environmental scan is organized around the ACRL’s top-10 assumptions about the future of academic and research libraries and librarians (


http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/publications/crlnews/2007/apr/tenassumptions.cfm

), first released in March 2007. This newly expanded narrative identifies several emerging issues, in addition to those detailed in the previously issued document, which will increasingly impact the work of academic and research libraries and librarians, including:

  • Broader collaboration among academic, public, special and school librarians on topics of common concern, such as public engagement and media literacy
  • Library facilities and services growing increasingly integrated with research, teaching and learning programs across campus, including information technology and student services.
  • The increasing needs of e-science and e-scholarship in the social sciences and the humanities, requiring new approaches to the design and delivery of core library services.
  • Increasing collaboration between academic libraries and university publication programs as their roles become increasingly complementary.
  • The shifting focus for academic libraries from the creation and management of large, on-site library collections to the design and delivery of library services.
  • The tools and techniques of social computing providing new opportunities for the design and delivery of library resources and services but putting more of a burden on library staff and systems.

While much has changed in the academic and research library environment since the publication of the last ACRL environmental scan in 2003, many previously noted issues remain relevant to practice, such as the increasing role for librarians in educational programs, both formal and informal; the impact of digitization programs; changes in the publishing industry and the broader environment for scholarly communication; new approaches to research, teaching and learning on campus; and the call for accountability in higher education.

Please share your thoughts and reactions to the issues identified in the 2007 environmental scan in an open discussion during the 2008 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 13, at Loews Philadelphia in room Congress C.

ACRL is a division of the American Library Association (ALA), representing more than 13,500 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments.

ACRL forms positioning libraries task force

CHICAGO – The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) is proud to announce the formation of Positioning the 21st Century Library in the Competitive Academy: Why We Can’t Wait, a task force examining the place of academic libraries in the larger world of higher education. The task force will identify ways that ACRL and its membership can maximize the position of libraries within the increasingly competitive academy.

Issues to be addressed by the task force include identifying challenges related to the position of academic libraries on campus, recommending short- and long-term aggressive activities in which ACRL members can engage to strengthen that position and recommending short- and long-term proactive programmatic initiatives ACRL can undertake to support members addressing these challenges.

“I see straight talking, plain language content and recommendations,” said ACRL President Julie Todaro. “The group might take on functional areas of the academic library environment such as budget, facilities, teaching role and research collections.” Todero also recommend “success elements” or best practices applicable in the real world academic library environment.

The task force is chaired by Elizabeth Henry of the University of Missouri-Kansas City University Libraries. Henry says, “The outcome of our work will offer both practical and perhaps radical ideas, and provide support in positioning academic libraries for the greatest advantage in obtaining the resources needed to offer effective, high-quality, valued services to our constituencies.”

Membership also includes:

  • Brad Baker, Northeastern Illinois University
  • Jim Neal, Columbia University
  • Bonnie Postlethwaite, University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • Hannelor Rader, University of Louisville
  • Donna Reed, Portland Community College
  • Sherrie Schmidt, Arizona State University
  • Janice Simmons-Welburn, Marquette University
  • Betsy Wilson, University of Washington
  • Ann Wolpert, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The group will present an interim progress report at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in January 2008.

ACRL, a division of the American Library Association, represents 13,500 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic and research libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments.