College Libraries Retooling for the 21st Century!  

Dear Commons Community,

The Chronicle of Higher Education has a featured article on how college libraries are struggling to retool themselves in the 21st Century to the Internet and its easily-accessible treasure trove of information.  In addition to spending less on print materials and more on electronic resources, libraries increasingly are providing spaces for students to collaborate on research projects and for providing tutoring services especially as related to information literacy.  

The article refers to a survey published in April by Ithaka S+R, a research-and-consulting service, which found that library directors feel less valued by senior academic leadership and less involved with decisions on their campuses. Only one-fifth of respondents said their institution’s budget demonstrated a recognition of the library’s value. And while librarians reported being deeply committed to student success, they struggled to articulate what exactly their contributions are.

The article also provides several examples of what college librarians are doing to make changes to their facilities.  For instance, the article describes how the DePaul University library “will  soon feature a ‘Maker Hub’ on the second floor, stocked with 3-D printers and a 3-D scanner, which, the library’s website notes, can scan people. Booths with audio and video equipment, as well as a green screen, will line the walls outside. A classroom and office space will be added for a group on campus focused on faculty development and interdisciplinary academic work.”

The Internet surely has impacted on much of what we do in education.  Like many other instructional and student services, libraries will have to adjust accordingly.


One comment

  1. I think a couple of years later we won`t have libraries in such a form, as we have now. The Internet will win libraries for sure, but students will need a place to do researches or just spend time on their own. During my student days I was working for essay review service – , so that I was spending almost all working time in the campus library. I just wanted to feel this atmosphere, it also was giving me some inspiration. But things gonna change. Students still will need a place but not paper books. As the needs of communities change, libraries around the world are innovating to meet those changing needs. So as i think in the nearest future we will have more and more coworking spaces How do you think, is it good one or not?