The social future of academic libraries

For Immediate Release
Tue, 04/11/2023


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing & Media

American Library Association


CHICAGO — The current focus in higher education on student engagement, holistic education, social responsibility, and community partnerships demands a significant mindshift for academic libraries to reclaim their place at the heart of academic institutions that are reinventing themselves as social enterprises. Published by Facet Publishing and available through the ALA Store, “The Social Future of Academic Libraries: New Perspectives on Communities, Networks, and Engagement” demonstrates why the present context calls for a radical rethinking of library mission and service philosophy to realign resources, processes, and practices to institutional needs. Tim Schlak, Sheila Corrall, and Paul Bracke introduce readers to core concepts of intellectual and social capital, as well as developments towards the "social turn" everywhere from the economy to libraries. The second part of their book is supported by nine case studies that encompass such topics as collection development, data services, information literacy, liaison librarians, library fundraising, service design, space utilization, subject specialists, and student success. The volume is accompanied by a keyword guide to the concepts, theories, and models referenced in the text via two downloadable glossaries with related bibliographies to inform current reading and future work.

Schlak is the former Dean of the University Library at Robert Morris University, where he now works as Associate Provost for Academic Alliances. His research interests range from social capital and leadership development to organizational theory. Corrall, now retired, was formerly Chair of the Library and Information Science program at the University of Pittsburgh. She continues to work on strategic issues for libraries, including data literacy, intellectual capital, open movements, professional development, and reflective practice. Bracke is the Dean of the Foley Library and Associate Provost for Research and Interdisciplinary Initiatives at Gonzaga University. His research interests are in organizational development for academic libraries and community-based infrastructure to support digital scholarship.

Facet Publishing, the commercial publishing and bookselling arm of CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, is the leading publisher of books for library and information professionals worldwide. ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library and information professionals worldwide. ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman publishes resources used by library and information professionals, scholars, students, and educators to improve programs and services, build on best practices, enhance pedagogy, share research, develop leadership, and promote advocacy. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a variety of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman at