Emerging Visions for Access in the 21st Century Library. Institutes for Information Science Conference Proceedings, 21‐22 April 2003. Perspectives on the Evolving Library

Jitka Hurych (Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, USA)

Collection Building

ISSN: 0160-4953

Article publication date: 1 September 2004




Hurych, J. (2004), "Emerging Visions for Access in the 21st Century Library. Institutes for Information Science Conference Proceedings, 21‐22 April 2003. Perspectives on the Evolving Library", Collection Building, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 150-151. https://doi.org/10.1108/01604950410544700



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

What will be the future of libraries and of information access? Seven leaders in the field of information, among them librarians, administrators and scientists, attempted to describe their vision in their papers at an international conference held in San Francisco in April 2003. The conference was hosted by the Council on Library and Information Resources and the University of California, and this volume presents seven of its papers.

Robert Martin, director of the Institute of Museum of Library Services, talked about opportunities and challenges in building digital libraries and about the social role that libraries play. He made a distinction between developing digital libraries rather than just digital collections. His emphasis was on an idea of books being able to “talk to each other.” He also discussed the problems inherent in building a digital library, such as copyright in the digital arena, preservation of digital materials, funding for creating digital content, evaluation of digital resources and, finally, the social role of the library as an agency for education and learning.

Jens Thorhauge, director‐general of the Danish National Library Authority, discussed new roles for the library in a civic society, using a concept of one coherent library system developed in a smaller European country. In Denmark a government agency, the Danish National Library Authority, plays a decisive role in developing library systems. Thorhauge sees transforming the librarian from an information provider into a knowledge provider as a major challenge for the future.

Gary Strong, director of the Queens Borough Public Library in New York City, talked about the library's social role and about building partnerships with other service organizations, e.g. health services, for getting people all information that they need. Robin Stanton, Vice Chancellor at the Australian National University, discussed consequences of digitization for academic research, education, scholarly communication and creating “communities of interest.” She used the Australian National University's experience as her model. Michael Robbie, vice president (IT) at Indiana University, gave his perspective of a university chief information officer in his discussion of the future of libraries and education. He talked about strategic planning and library partnerships with academic departments and information services, such as computing and IT.

Michael Eisen, a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, talked about open access in scholarly communication and advocated the right of those who do the scientific work to own their literature. Daniel Greenstein, university librarian at the University of California, talked about “deep resource sharing” experience from the University of California's 11 libraries and their digital collections and presented a layered service model.

This book of conference proceedings presents an excellent discussion of visions and challenges for development of academic libraries of the future. It is highly recommended for all academic libraries.

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