Case studies highlight real-world innovations in university libraries

For Immediate Release
Tue, 04/22/2014


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

American Library Association


CHICAGO — What is the future of the academic library, and how are institutions coping with the challenges that are already being imposed by its changing functions and purpose? Using the results of a year-long study, “The New University Library: Four Case Studies,” published by ALA Editions, profiles four academic libraries that are transforming themselves with extraordinary ingenuity and diligence. Matthew Conner examines topics such as reference, personnel, technology, collections, buildings, campus roles and library culture—and how they’re changing in response to current trends—at:

  • The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which has adapted amidst the forces of change to become one of the premier academic libraries in the nation; 
  • The University of California at Merced, an institution that prioritizes collaboration and networking, offering a living, working example of the library of the future;
  • The University of Hawaii at Manoa, which focused rebuilding after a disastrous flood in 2004, spurring a rethinking of priorities, showing how a library can thrive despite limited resources;
  • The University of California at Davis, a model of the public university system, with an agricultural legacy that makes it a paradigm of the land-grant university.

Conner is currently an instruction/reference librarian at the Peter J. Shields Library at the University of California, Davis, and president-elect of the Librarians Association of the University of California (LAUC). As chair of the LAUC Professional Governance Committee, he recently led a system-wide study of the future of the University of California libraries, which forms the basis of this book. He is also pursuing research on information visualization and the pedagogy of keyword searching, which he has reported on at numerous conferences and in an article in Reference Services Review.

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