For immediate release | November 3, 2014

ACRL releases New Roles for the Road Ahead for public comment

CHICAGO — As part of its 75th anniversary celebration, the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announces the release of an initial version of “New Roles for the Road Ahead: Essays Commissioned for ACRL’s 75th Anniversary.” The association invites and encourages public comment and discussion on the collection, authored by well-known bloggers and thought leaders Steven Bell, Lorcan Dempsey and Barbara Fister, through a CommentPress website. The site will be open for open public comments through Nov. 30, 2014.

In a series of 20 essays, Bell, Dempsey and Fister share their thoughts on the world in which academic libraries will thrive, ways libraries are responding to change and new roles for libraries and librarians. The essays include reflections on ways academic libraries can succeed in a changing higher education environment, take advantage of opportunities and think about the best ways to deliver both ongoing and innovative services to students and faculty.

"Looking to find your way to that elusive sweet spot between the present and the future? The best map you will find to navigate the changing intersection of higher education and librarianship is the collection of essays in ‘New Roles for the Road Ahead’,” noted Pam Snelson, chairperson of the association’s anniversary celebration. “Bell, Dempsey and Fister define the issues, ask questions, create new roles, offer directions, and challenge thinking. By framing the road ahead and positioning librarians in innovative roles, their essays offer compelling instructions for creating a new library landscape.”

Reader comments on this emerging publication will help shape the authors’ final work, with a final version expected in February 2015. The draft of “New Roles for the Road Ahead: Essays Commissioned for ACRL’s 75th Anniversary” is now available for open public comment on the ACRL website.


The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 11,500 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook and Twitter at @ala_acrl.


David Free

Marketing and Communications Specialist