For immediate release | October 14, 2010

New from ACRL - The Expert Library: Staffing, Sustaining, and Advancing the Academic Library in the 21st Century

CHICAGO – The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announces the publication of “The Expert Library: Staffing, Sustaining, and Advancing the Academic Library in the 21st Century,” edited by Scott Walter and Karen Williams.

In the midst of a decade of extraordinary change in academic libraries – change driven by information technology, new approaches to teaching and learning, new models for scholarly communication and new expectations for the ways we will discover, share and use information – there is nothing as important to the future of the library and its continued place at the heart of the academic enterprise than its people and the expertise that they bring to the design, development and delivery of library services.

What will those services be and who will provide them? “The Expert Library” provides an overview of the changing dynamics of recruiting and retaining academic library professionals for the 21st century. The thought-provoking book provides fresh thinking and insights into what will be required to ensure continued library relevance and success through its people.
"Academic libraries are about a shifting array of professional, technical and support personnel who bring critical expertise and experience to both the sustained responsibilities and the new roles that higher education libraries are advancing," writes James G. Neal, vice president for information services and university librarian at Columbia University, in the foreword. "This volume, for the first time, brings together fresh thinking and insights about what will be required to advance library relevance and success through people."
In 13 engaging essays, “The Expert Library” draws on the experience of academic librarians looking back over a decade of research and innovation, during which the profession has struggled to identify both its core competencies and the areas of professional expertise needed to support programs in scholarly communications, assessment, information literacy instruction, data curation, strategic communication and assessment. Providing a lens for viewing discussions of the academic library job market, the changing nature of traditional positions and the impact of integrating new types of library professionals into our organizational cultures, the collection spurs what must become an ongoing discussion of the future of the academic library and its contributions to the strategic concerns of its campus.
“The Expert Library: Staffing, Sustaining, and Advancing the Academic Library in the 21st Century” is available for purchase through the ALA Online Store and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the U.S. or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.
The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) is a division of the American Library Association (ALA), representing more than 12,000 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 libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.


David Free