Pull quote: “Maybe it’s not enough for us to just provide access to books. Perhaps libraries should work together and create or our own circuit of events to help maintain and grow a reading and writing culture and connect it to the already thriving participatory culture on the internet. We organize wonderful conferences for each other in the profession. Perhaps we should host conferences for our own communities.”

Pull quote: “It’s unfathomably, eye-rollingly ironic that Mathews starts his white paper with doomsaying about the sustainability of academic libraries and then offers transient organizations as a model for survival. I can’t even.”

Pull quote: “What I’m particularly concerned about here is that, per usual, discussions of what R1 institutions should do are driving discourse in academic librarianship. Why is this? The far majority of academic librarians don’t work at an institution with multiple Associate University Librarians, yet those places seem to dominate the conversation around what academic libraries should be doing.”

Pull quote: “Much of the literature on the future of libraries talks about “preserving relevance” and “reminding them why they need us.” This kind of language strikes me as self-defeating. If we do not already believe in our own relevance and that we are needed, why are we here? For starters, I strongly support changing up this discourse and talking about what we do in a way that recognizes that the future is already here. Libraries of necessity have a reactive component since part of our mandate is necessarily to preserve access to the past. If we’re going to talk about preservation, let’s do it in that context; humanities scholars, particularly historians, will thank us.”

Pull quote: “BiblioTech fits into Judge Wolff’s pattern of encouraging the long-term development of San Antonio. The vision anticipates a multi-location facility providing community information needs, with the first site serving as a model; it would be open into evening hours, available to registered County residents, and would provide access to up to an anticipated 10,000 ebook titles, supported with a pool of up to 100 e-readers.”

Pull quote: “[I]t is time to stop thinking publications and start thinking data. This way the academic library could transform itself into a new central data services hub.”

Pull quote: “Sometimes I think it’s me that’s disruptive rather than the technology. Echoing the the point Walt [Crawford] picked up on and you acknowledge, re: mp3s - you don’t have to change, you make the choice. My disruptive influence is that I don’t think the library’s survival is paramount; I think the meeting the user’s need is. Sometimes we have to acknowledge that we just get in the way, for at least some users. I’m happy for people to make the case for the continued mystic aura of the library - but the justification shouldn’t be based on ‘the library is a good thing’ it should be about why the library is best placed to meet a valid user need.”

Pull quote: “I’ve been a professional librarian for 11 years. In those 11 years, I’ve never had a clear vision of ‘the future of libraries’ – it’s always been blurry, evolving, cyclical, shifting. And so … what? I should have spent 11 years waiting? Or only reacting to the problems right in front of me, never looking out in to that blurry unpredictable future? I say no. I say we try to plan anyway. I say we grab onto the fact that we are ALL flailing about, and choose to choose our path. That we see this as an opportunity – not as a chance to fail because we don’t know what comes next, but as an opportunity to succeed because NO ONE knows what comes next – so how can we be wrong?”

Pull quote: “The challenge that I see in this is that some of our stakeholder expectations are in a totally different place from others, and equally far from our shared and recognized experiences. In short: We’re busily turning into a butterfly, to the delight of our students, and our faculty think we made a damn fine caterpillar.”

I love that one of the key segments of this video is a focus on open access publishing.

(via MIT TechTV – Reinventing the Research Library: The MIT Libraries in the 21st Century)

Pull quote: “If questions like these are the ones that guide our thinking we’ll do extraordinary things. These questions aren’t trying to solve problems or even merely discover what we are already doing. These questions paint an optimum vision of the future and propel us towards it. Instead of trying to solve problems, put out fires, or simply stay afloat we are asking how can we create the kind of future we want.”

Pull quote: “Although many libraries are slow to change, the expectations of today’s children make that change a certainty.”

Pull quote: “Over time, librarians have evolved from being servants who did what people asked to being service-focused and trying to anticipate the needs of our users and best meet them. I think one potential path the profession could take is to transition from a general trend of being service-focused to being more of a collaborator.”

Pull quote: “It would give its community open access to the objects of knowledge and culture. It would include physical spaces as a particularly valuable sort of node. But the platform would do much more. If the mission is to help the community develop and pursue knowledge and culture, it would certainly provide tools and services that enable communities to form around these objects. The platform would make public the work of local creators, and would provide contexts within which these works can be found, discussed, elaborated, and appropriated. It would provide an ecosystem in which ideas and conversations flow out and in, weaving objects into local meanings and lives. Of course it would allow the local culture to flourish while simultaneously connecting it with the rest of the world — ideally by beginning with linking it into other local library platforms.”