CHICAGO— Have changes such as cloud computing, search engines, the Semantic Web, and mobile applications rendered such long-standing academic library services and functions as special collections, interlibrary loans, physical processing, and even library buildings unnecessary? Can the academic library effectively reconceive itself as a virtual institution? Frederick Stielow, who led the library program of the online university American Public University System, argues most emphatically that it can. His new book “Reinventing the Library for Online Education,” published by ALA Editions, offers a comprehensive look at web-based academic libraries, synthesizing the changes wrought by the Web revolution into a visionary new model. Grounded in history as well as personal experience, he demonstrates how existing functions like cataloging, circulation, collection development, reference, and serials management can be transformed by entrepreneurship, human face/electronic communicator relations, web apps, and other innovations. Online education can ensure that libraries remain strong information and knowledge hubs, and Stielow’s timely book:
- shows how the origins and history of the academic library have laid the foundation for our current period of flux;
- identifies practices rooted in print-based storage to consider for elimination, and legacy services ready to be adapted to virtual operations;
- discusses tools and concepts libraries will embrace in a networked world, including new opportunities for library relevance in bookstore/textbook operations, compliance, library/archival/museum functions, e-publishing, and tutorial services;
- offers a thorough examination of the virtual library infrastructure crucial for an online learning program, with a special look at the particular needs and responsibilities of online librarians;
- looks at the evolving relationship between higher education and copyright, and posits how educational technology will bring further changes.
Stielow heads American Public University System’s Classroom/ Research Information Services (CRIS). Dr. Stielow previously worked as director of the Amistad the Walter Reuther Labor Library at Wayne State University, Mid-Hudson Public Library System, Research Center at Tulane University, and Head of Special Collections at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. He also held full-time professorial appointments at the University of Maryland and Catholic University along with visiting assignments at the University of Illinois and University of Puerto Rico. He has held major posts with the ALA and the Society of American Archivists (SAA). He has written ten previous books, including “The Management of Oral History Sound Archives,” “Creating Virtual Libraries,” and “Building Digital Archives.” In 2013 he was honored with the ACHE Award for Creative Use of Technology.
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