Clash in the Stacks
December 10, 2014, ByCarl Straumsheim
One common trend, however, is that several of the library directors who have left their jobs in recent years have done so after long-term disputes with other groups on campus about how the academic library should change to better serve students and faculty.
In the Ithaka S+R Library Survey 2013, released this March, almost 90 percent of survey respondents named financial constraints the primary obstacle facing their institutions.
“My sense is that administrators look at libraries as something that is easy to cut or easy to subsume under an IT department, because it feels as though when library materials become electronic, they are best managed by, say, an IT department instead of being managed by the library,”
Other institutions have created positions that combine IT and library director duties, but those efforts haven’t always been successful. At two such institutions, senior administrators introduced the idea, but after faculty members and staffers grew concerned that the directors were emphasizing digital work over books, both lost their jobs. Some of those involved discussed these developments on condition they not be identified.