Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
Academic Library Leaders Create Expanded Vision for Libraries in Digital Knowledge Age
Eighty academic library leaders called on the library community to assert library core values in the Digital Knowledge Age during the ARL/OCLC Strategic Issues Forum for Academic Library Directors in Keystone, Colorado, September 24-25, 1999.
In discussions of future roles and contributions of academic libraries, these library leaders set forth what they called the "Keystone Principles," which state that:
Knowledge and information are public goods.
The library is the intellectual crossroads of the community.
Librarians will ensure systems to enable access to knowledge today and pass knowledge on to succeeding generations.
A new knowledge commons will emerge a co-operative co-ordinated enterprise of traditional library services and new electronic ones.
The forum's keynote speakers, Paul C. Light, vice-president and governmental studies director, Brookings Institution, and Jonathan Zittrain, lecturer on law and executive director, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School, led the group in a series of discussions and working sessions.
Light conducted the first day of the forum and shared his insight on creating and sustaining innovation in non-profit and governmental organizations. Delegates then participated in a wide-ranging discussion of issues, which focused attention on possible areas for innovative library action.
Leading the forum's second day, Zittrain challenged participants to consider why the Internet, "an unparalleled engine of information dissemination," does not have libraries at its core. He encouraged delegates to base their strategic visions of the future and related innovation on a deep understanding of traditional library values and their importance in a free society.
Working in groups, delegates focused on four key areas: new measurements for academic library performance; a restatement of core library values for the Digital Knowledge Age, which came to be known as the "Keystone Principles"; a vision of new models of library co-operation that leverages library values, resources, and human talent as well as a unified, trusted Web presence; and planning to broaden participation by key parties.
A full report of the ARL/OCLC Strategic Issues Forum for Academic Library Directors will be available from Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) Institute, co-sponsors of the event. Detailed information on the guiding principles and action items may be found online at http://www.arl.org/training/keystone/html