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Contact: Mary Ellen Davis
Executive Director, ACRL
For Immediate Release  
October 8, 2007

ACRL forms positioning libraries task force

CHICAGO — The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) is proud to announce the formation of, Positioning the 21st Century Library in the Competitive Academy: Why We Can’t Wait, a task force examining the place of academic libraries in the larger world of higher education. The task force will identify ways that ACRL and its membership can maximize the position of libraries within the increasingly competitive academy.

Issues to be addressed by the task force include identifying challenges related to the position of academic libraries on campus, recommending short- and long-term aggressive activities in which ACRL members can engage to strengthen that position and recommending short- and long-term proactive programmatic initiatives ACRL can undertake to support members addressing these challenges.

“I see straight talking, plain language content and recommendations,” said ACRL President Julie Todaro. “The group might take on functional areas of the academic library environment such as budget, facilities, teaching role and research collections.” Todero also recommend “success elements” or best practices applicable in the real world academic library environment.

The task force is chaired by Elizabeth Henry of the University of Missouri-Kansas City University Libraries. Henry says, “The outcome of our work will offer both practical and perhaps radical ideas, and provide support in positioning academic libraries for the greatest advantage in obtaining the resources needed to offer effective, high-quality, valued services to our constituencies.”

Membership also includes:

  • Brad Baker, Northeastern Illinois University

  • Jim Neal, Columbia University

  • Bonnie Postlethwaite, University of Missouri-Kansas City

  • Hannelor Rader, University of Louisville

  • Donna Reed, Portland Community College

  • Sherrie Schmidt, Arizona State University

  • Janice Simmons-Welburn, Marquette University

  • Betsy Wilson, University of Washington

  • Ann Wolpert, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The group will present an interim progress report at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in January 2008.

ACRL, a division of the American Library Association, represents 13,500 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians.  Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic and research libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments.



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