William Patrick Leonard
​​​In the digital age, the heart of the university expands
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Academic libraries around the globe have historically referred to themselves as being at the heart of their institutions.
Students have relied on them for access to books, periodicals and other media needed to complete assignments. Libraries have also provided their faculty with the information needed to guide their research. Their mission and vision statements have often included variations of the words ‘to collect and preserve print and non-print material in perpetuity’. Libraries operated relatively passive monopolies.
While the heart metaphor may still fit, the digital age has prompted significant changes in how it manifests itself. Libraries have recognised that external-based technology has undermined their traditional monopoly of access to content.
Students and faculty no longer have to rely on their institution’s library to pursue their assignments and research.
In order to remain relevant to their users, academic libraries have been pivoting their services. Spanish researchers Angel Borrego and Lluis Anglada state it plainly: “Researchers no longer build their workflow around the library.” Students no longer have to come to libraries in search of needed content... More
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