I considered a lot of different titles for this post. There are the popular phrases like “re-imagining the library,” “re-envisioning the library,” or “the future of libraries;” but, librarians and library advocates have been throwing those words around for years. Then, there was the edge-of-the-cliff approach. Something like, “take the library off life support,” or “is an academic library necessary.” While it might draw readers, it’s not the tone I’m going for. Those two viewpoints though offer a perspective of how libraries are viewed. People either want to save/transform libraries or kill them. You’ll notice there are no posts or articles that say libraries are fine and should just keep on keeping on.
A great jumping off point is the report, “Redeﬁning the Academic Library: Managing the Migration to Digital Information Services,” published by the Education Advisory Board. You may read the concise, slide-version of the report or the more in-depth report.
So, if libraries are in crisis, what does a successful academic library look like? What do you want your library to look like and how do you define successful? Does successful mean growing and transforming or merely open for business?