Folks – Don’t miss this new blog by Carnegie Mellon University Dean of Libraries Keith Webster:
Keith is one of the academic library leaders I look to for insights and ideas related to higher ed and library service. Look for his articles and presentations – you won’t be disappointed. For example:
From his introductory post:
If the librarian’s profession is increasingly to be conducted outside the library, then what of the building itself? We know that our libraries are busier than ever, but studies point to much of the use of our facilities being independent of our traditional roles. Interactions with librarians are increasingly rare, and the use of print collections has declined in many universities. Demand is high for quiet study spaces, and for flexible study environments. The construction of makerspaces and other technology-rich facilities has offered a draw card, certainly at my own university. But what is the long-term future? I recall the Follett Reportforeshadowing cheekily a future where library buildings, constructed to bear the immense weight of densely packed bookstacks, could be redeveloped as multistorey car parks (parking garages*)! That hasn’t come to pass, yet, and the demise of the book is not nigh, but we do need to reflect upon the long term disposition of some of the most valuable real estate on our campuses.
Keith’s going to be exploring the evolving nature of the academic library with an eye toward trends, technology and service and a future view grounded in experience and research. I am impressed with his accomplishments:
Keith Webster was appointed Dean of University Libraries at Carnegie Mellon University in July 2013. He also has a courtesy academic appointment at the University’s H. John Heinz III College. Previously, Keith was Vice President and Director of Academic Relations and Strategy for the global publishing company John Wiley and Sons. He was formerly Dean of Libraries and University Librarian at the University of Queenslandin Australia, leading one of the largest university and hospital library services in the southern hemisphere. Earlier positions include University Librarian at Victoria University in New Zealand, Head of Information Policy at HM Treasury, London, and Director of Information Services at the School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London.
Follow him on Twitter too: https://twitter.com/CMKeithW/