Views: Reviving the Academic Library | Inside Higher Ed
The academic library is threatened. On its face, the challenge facing libraries is simple: declining funding. At a time when universities and colleges are pressed for funds, developing archival, book, journal, and electronic collections costs money. Libraries thus face the same challenge faced by other academic units -- the humanities, the social sciences, the classroom in general -- that rely upon rather than generate revenue. The difference is that across the country deans of libraries are giving up the fight and changing their mission rather than fighting to save an important academic institution. Rather than make clear why we need academic libraries, the library’s leaders are seeking instead to become vague learning environments which, when boiled down to their essence, are nothing more than computer labs with sofas and coffee.