Edited by F. Xavier Olleros and Majlinda Zhegu
AbstractThe library finds itself navigating a challenging transition at the dawn of a digital era: 2013 marked the fourth consecutive year in which more than 40 percent of libraries in the United States experienced a decrease in funding. The university library is no stranger to operating under financial constraints; major university library systems at Harvard, Columbia, Chicago and more have undergone similar cuts and reorganizations. These changes are being driven in part by the new ways in which people interact with information. It is this chapter’s argument, however, that the digital age will not mark another era of decline for libraries. In fact, with the special place university libraries have traditionally held in law, policy and pedagogy, the university library is now poised to be on the forefront of the twenty-first-century digital movement as it harnesses its staff, collections and expertise to provide next-generation support for research, teaching and access. The topics in this chapter – collection development, modern library space, law and policy, open access, and collaborative case study programs – are considered as representative of some of the most critical themes for a university library to embrace in the modern era.
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