university library future

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.

1 Comment on university library future

  1. Plamen Miltenoff
    January 16, 2015 at 12:08 am (6 years ago)

    Student Monitor: Campus Libraries Hold their Value for Students

    Because the surveys are conducted twice a year, during spring and fall semesters, SM is able to track whether answers stay the same or change, and what triggers those changes. Libraries, as it turns out, are one of the more consistent variables. “Students have always rated their campus library at the top in terms of their levels of satisfaction or getting value,” Weil told LJ. Student housing, the cost of textbooks, and campus dining services, on the other hand, “have traditionally ranked at the very bottom.”


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