From Archive to Gateway: The Evolution of the Research Library


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Levine-Clark, Michael, “From Archive to Gateway: The Evolution of the Research Library,” Invited. University of Utah, Friends of the Marriott Library Spring Banquet, Salt Lake City, April 9, 2013.

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From Archive to Gateway: The Evolution of the Research Library

  1. 1. From Archive to Gateway: TheEvolution of the Research Library University of Utah Friends of the Marriott Library Banquet April 9, 2013 Michael Levine-Clark University of Denver Libraries
  2. 2.
  3. 3. OCLC. Perceptions of Libraries 2010.
  4. 4. How Important is the Library to Faculty?• Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey 2012. 962/417/5/
  5. 5. “Academic libraries can no longer assume thattheir importance and value to a university isuniversally understood.” Susan Gibbons, University Librarian Yale University Library Annual Report, 2011-12
  6. 6. Penrose Library Anderson Academic Commons1972 2013
  7. 7. This is NOT a Library!!!
  8. 8. definitionsli·brar·y1. A building or room containing collections of books…2. A collection of books…3. The organization that manages that building and collection…
  9. 9. What Do The Experts Say?• "The future library will be located in a spaceship. The spaceship will have blue tables and purple chairs. The walls of the future library will be green and magenta. Also, the future library will have many skylights."• "Libraries will have flying desks and iPads for each person.”• "The future library will be open twenty four hours.”• "The library will have ninety thousand computers. The library will also have a café."• "Libraries will be floating in the sky. People will have their own planes to get there.”• "As much as I love the library, I’m 100% sure future libraries would be even more awesome. Just think how amazing the library will be in the future, with robots and electronics."
  10. 10. • "I also believe that there will be robot librarians. But then again a lot of people know that someday robots will take over the world. Also people think that there will be a war of good robots vs bad robots but here is the good part about all this is that the good robots will be teamed up with all of humanity. But earth is a very strong place and can fight with or without human help.”• "They [robots] will be very cost effective because we will not have to pay them."• The librarians are so friendly, even the shyest person in the world wont be shy anymore.”• "If you have a book that is out of date, it will warp back to the library. It also allows you to warp to other libraries."Essays from children on the future of libraries. April 2011.
  11. 11. The Past
  12. 12. Collections• Library = Collection• Physical collections – Books – Journals – Microforms – Archives/Special Collections• The collection is local
  13. 13. Mission• Preserve the cultural record – Including replication of common stuff• Provide resources for current students and faculty• Organize and describe
  14. 14. Collection UseCirculation, Books Cataloged • We buy books that sit2000-2004 (n=126,953) on the shelf 4+ • Students request Circ, 19 % 0 books we don’t own 3 Circ, 40 – Interlibrary loan Circ, 8 % % – Purchase 2 Circ, 13 1 • Some material % Circ, 21 requires a research % trip
  15. 15. The Difficulties of Discovery• Specialized tools – Library catalog – Indexes• Specialized vocabulary – Subject headings – Call numbers
  16. 16. As Physical Collections Expanded…• Quantity came to equal quality• There was less room for students• There was little ability to integrate technology into the building• There was less money for special collections
  17. 17. The Present
  18. 18. Collections = Content• Majority of non-book purchases are electronic – Journals almost entirely so• We are beginning to develop better discovery tools – Access beyond “the collection” – Still not as intuitive as Google• BUT, the evolution to e-books is just beginning
  19. 19. “The Harvard of the West!” Digital primary source collections The great equalizer
  20. 20. The Library as Place (for People)
  21. 21. Evolving Mission• Provide access to content for current students and faculty – Service orientation – Discovery tools • Owned and unowned content• Preserve the cultural record – Institutional Repositories – Redundant print – Portico
  22. 22. The Future
  23. 23. Spending Patterns Must Change80.0%70.0%60.0%50.0%40.0%30.0% Subscriptions20.0% One-time10.0% Services 0.0%
  24. 24. Digital Content• Almost all current scholarship will be accessed electronically• Paper will be for specialized uses• We won’t care about ownership (except when we should)
  25. 25. Rethinking the Collection• Access on demand – Pay only for use – Pay only for level of use – E-books – Articles (not journals) – Print on Demand • Espresso Book Machine• Access instead of assets• A broader, richer content pool
  26. 26. Reemphasizing Special Collections
  27. 27. The Evolution to Digital Content Makes Possible• An evolution in how we use library space – Flexible – Comfortable• A much richer research environment
  28. 28. Our Mission Should Be…• Locally, to provide our users with the widest range of quality resources possible (and to make these things easier to find) – Digital content, owned and unowned – Primary source collections, digital and physical• Collectively, to serve as stewards of the cultural record – Maintain the physical collections that matter locally • Collaborate on the rest – Pay third-party specialists to preserve licensed digital content
  29. 29. Research libraries are both the same asthey’ve always been, and very different• Same mission – Providing information resources and services to support the curriculum – Stewardship• Very different emphases – Access vs. assets – Locally unique materials – Service / ease of use – Space – Comfort
  30. 30. Thank You