Daily Archives: March 15, 2007

ACRL Summit Report On Changing Role Of Academic Libraries Now Available

You may recall a post I wrote about the ACRL technology summit that I attended. I said that I would let ACRLog readers know when the final report from that summit was available for public consumption. Well, it’s now available. Here is some information about the summit and report from an ACRL press release:

ACRL has published an essay on the changing role of academic libraries that resulted from an invitational summit held on November 2 and 3, 2006, in Chicago. ACRL convened the summit to address how technologies, on the one hand, and the changing climate for teaching, learning, and scholarship, on the other, will likely recast the roles, responsibilities, and resources of academic libraries over the next decade.

The summit was conducted as an unscripted roundtable facilitated by Robert Zemsky of the Learning Alliance. The summit was attended by 30 leaders who both care about academic libraries and have the ability to look over the horizon in order to imagine an alternative future. The time together resulted in a discussion paper that is now available

The summit identified three essential actions libraries must take to achieve the necessary transformation and remain vital forces on campus in the years ahead..
• First, libraries must evolve from an institution perceived primarily as the domain of the book to an institution that users clearly perceive as providing pathways to high-quality information in a variety of media and information sources.
• Second, the culture of libraries and their staff must proceed beyond a mindset primarily of ownership and control to one that seeks to provide service and guidance in more useful ways.
• Third, libraries must assert their evolving roles in more active ways, both in the context of their institutions and in the increasingly competitive markets for information dissemination and retrieval.

Summit participants further suggested possible roles for ACRL:
• Convene and facilitate dialogues with leaders of key constituencies to consider the future of libraries in supporting the missions of higher education institutions.
• Contribute to national efforts to better understand elements of successful learning.
• Identify and monitor indices of change in the environment of libraries and information dissemination.
• Provide leadership in helping libraries and librarians make effective use of technology in supporting research and education.
• Provide national leadership in communicating the potential and performance of libraries in adopting new paradigms and meeting changing demands of institutions, faculty, and students.

ACRL seeks to continue the conversation about the changing roles for librarians, libraries, and ACRL. The first response, prepared by Julie Todaro, ACRL Vice-President/President-Elect, is posted with the essay. ACRL is greatly interested in receiving your comments about the Summit report. ACRLog has been designated as the official site for the submission of comments. So please read the report, give it some thought, and then return here to add your comments, thoughts, reflections and reactions to other comments.