university libraries

5 roles university libraries will play in the future

University libraries are changing—but one important role remains the same, experts say

Universities are seeking ways to innovate and keep up with the changing expectations of students and faculty, and university libraries are no different.

Academic libraries are good at adapting as they try to meet students and faculty who learn differently and who have varying expectations for what their university library is.

As physical space, available funding, and student needs change, university libraries will have to adapt to meet different needs and campus roles.

Despite these future changes, the purpose of university libraries remains steady: Academic libraries provide equitable access to information for students to use in their daily lives, whether their purpose is for academic success, to solve problems, or to create new knowledge.

1. They’re still in the business of information access

While the way libraries do things may change, they are still in the service of information discovery, says Cheryl Middleton, president of the Association of College and Research Libraries, which is a division of the American Library Association. Middleton is associate university librarian for research and scholarly communication at Oregon State University. 

Laura Ascione

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