The ACRL Research Committee unveiled the top ten assumptions for the future of academic libraries during ACRL National Conference on Saturday March 31, 2007. A panel representing community and liberal arts colleges, research university libraries, as well as an observer of the higher education environment reacted and commented upon the assumptions.
Listen to Pamela Snelson, president, ACRL and college librarian at Franklin and Marshall College, and James L. Mullins, chair of the ACRL Research Committee and dean of libraries at Purdue University discuss the top ten assumptions.
Top ten assumptions for the future of academic and research libraries:
1. There will be an increased emphasis on digitizing collections, preserving digital archives, and improving methods of data storage and retrieval.
2. The skill set for librarians will continue to evolve in response to the needs and expectations of the changing populations (student and faculty) that they serve.
3. Students and faculty will increasingly demand faster and greater access to services.
4. Debates about intellectual property will become increasingly common in higher education.
5. The demand for technology related services will grow and require additional funding.
6. Higher education will increasingly view the institution as a business.
7. Students will increasingly view themselves as customers and consumers, expecting high quality facilities and services.
8. Distance Learning will be an increasingly common option in higher education, and will co-exist but not threaten the traditional bricks-and-mortar model.
9. Free, public access to information stemming from publicly funded research will continue to grow.
10. Privacy will continue to be an important issue in librarianship.