A friend recently shared this article with me, Lifecycle Librarianship: Giving up the information illusion will keep librarians and libraries relevant for a lifetime, By Bill Crowley — Library Journal, 4/1/2008.In the article, Crowley argues that the library field’s emphasis on the provision of “information” has been misguided. Information technology jobs are being outsourced overseas, and researchers are satisfied by what they find on Google. Crowley makes the case for the library profession to move away from the focus on information and towards the services that studies show people expect from libraries: a safe and friendly physical place where they can learn, read, and meet throughout all stages of life.
His arguments make a lot of sense, especially as they relate to public libraries. But Crowley stresses that academic libraries should adopt this philosophy as well. I think he is suggesting that academic libraries don’t need to change their practices, but rather to change the way they promote their practices and services to their campus constituents.