Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Continuing Role of the Library As …

Ithaka released another report yesterday: “Faculty Survey 2009: Key Strategic Insights for Libraries, Publishers, and Societies.” As with the last report, faculty rated their perceptions of the library’s functions as buyer, archive, and gateway (not surprisingly, the process of disintermediation continues, but library resources are preferred).

This time the survey asked about two additional roles: “teaching support” and “research support,” both of which are rated at about the same level as the library’s gateway function. So far, the report concludes, “faculty members across disciplines do not yet value the teaching and research support roles nearly as highly as they do the ‘infrastructural’ roles” (14). It will be interesting to see how perceptions of this role change over time.

The report is covered in the Chronicle (“Scholars Increasingly Embrace Some, but Not All, Digital Media”) and, with more provocative titles, in Inside Higher Ed (“Eroding Library Role?”) and Library Journal (“Faculty Survey Warns of Potential Irrelevance for Academic Libraries, Suggests New Roles”).