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Things academic library directors are asked to engage with

Topics on which I have had conversations and/or email communications in the last week:

  1. Open access, the state of publishing, and what libraries are doing about it.
  2. Textbooks, the cost of textbooks, and the open textbook movement, and what libraries are doing about it.
  3. Why ebooks suck and what libraries are doing about it.
  4. 3-D printers and their role in innovation and research, and what libraries are doing about it.
  5. Library policies as re: student expectations of service (in this case, “you don’t have enough computers”), and where our boundaries are on those questions.
  6. Library policies as re: faculty expectations of service (in this case, “I am dissatisfied with your collecting polices and practices”), and where our boundaries are on those questions.
  7. Massive online education, the library support needed to facilitate it, the complexities of delivering consistent services to geographically distributed and inconsistently institutionally affiliated students, and what libraries might do about it.
  8. Research compliance issues, data management for open data initiatives, and what libraries might do about it.

This job is certainly never boring.

3 Responses to Things academic library directors are asked to engage with

  1. Thanks for the list. I think many of these are probably unchanged from yesteryear. The first half of 2, 5 & 6 are the ones that I think particularly. Also, I’m sure that people would have been asking what libraries would be doing about print-on-demand ten years ago or so. Not much it seems. I suspect that 3D printing is even less likely to be making a big impact.

    I’d be very interested in what, particularly, you are doing about sucky ebooks. I love e-texts, with certain caveats. I think they work best as HTML with no Digital Restrictions Management (an artefact of running */Linux means I generally “miss out” on DRM anyway). Unfortunately there are only no big publishers that agree with me.

    Also, I was wondering whether you know if your staff are also having these conversations. I would assume at least front-desk staff would be having some of them.

    Thanks.

  2. Great post –will use it in my presentation on library systems (I’m thinking more library technology ‘ecosystem’ than ILS) to the UK M25 group of Academic libraries tomorrow. You touch on many of the issues I want to cover–notably Open Access (UK is motoring here after recent ‘Finch’ report and govt support) textbooks, ebooks (working on a Jisc project on that),MOOCs and research data (doing a project on that too). Timely post-*very helpful*.Thanks Ken

  3. I’ve already had some of those, despite only being here a couple months. Also: gamification & copyright.

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