College Planning & Management

JUN 2013

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the 21st-Century library "Learning Commons have been springing up over the last 10 years at colleges and universities across North America," says William Strausbaugh, associate provost at Messiah College. "They are part of a response to and refection of the changing nature of information and its dissemination." Much of the change for librarians has been due to the new ways information is received in today's digital world. "The role of the library in the 1970s was to assist students, faculty, staff, and the public in fnding information. That hasn't changed, although the way we do it is very, very different," says Lois Szudy, library director at Courtright Memorial Library at Otterbein University. Mary Ann Mavrinac, who was named dean of River Campus Libraries at the University of Rochester in New York in December, recalled in her installation speech that when the World Wide Web was born in 1989, change was coming for libraries. "The formal, traditional roles of librarians as information specialists and information gate-keepers who unlocked the mysteries of knowledge contained in the library's collections began to erode," says Mavrinac. "Where before, libraries occupied a privileged role of selecting, acquiring, organizing, making accessible and preserving information — roles we still perform and value — the web has become a major conduit to knowledge production, dissemination, and communication — one we cannot live without." Mavrinac further says research libraries are experiencing both dynamic yet disruptive times, and have choices to make. "I believe there is no option but to fully embrace a digital future, focus on collaboration, and serve the academic mission," says Mavrinac. "Our students and our faculty require this for their success. In so doing, this will secure our success." CPM Scott Willyerd is president for Dick Jones Communications. He can be reached at scott@dickjonescomm.com. 46 COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / JUNE 2013 www.PLANNING 4EduCATION.COM

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