Recently I posted to yammer a link for a Berkeley news release about the commission being formed to "envision [the] Library's future". I'm not really sure if yammer is the best place or if the spot I put it was appropriate. That's unfortunate, and I'd rather not have to think about that- so I'll use this space. The post seemed especially important as next week I'm also planning to attend the IT Pro Roundtable Digital Stewardship: Libraries and Archives vs. the Digital Dark Age (which can also be attended via Adobe Connect if you register.) It's fascinating stuff, I think; there are important things happening.

One of the first things that I noticed about the Berkeley information was the charge letter available for download. It's only a few pages, but includes important reference material in links as well as the charge and a list of those charged. The pdf is a scanned image, not text; the links don't function. I noticed, too, that within the 12 member commission being charged, there were only two obvious IT people: A professor of rhetoric who is Director of their Center for New Media, and an adjunct professor in the School of Information. Initially I thought this was a good thing- the world doesn't need to be lead by IT people. But there's that horribly inaccessible and barely usable pdf…

The non-functional links are a disappointment. Not only do they not function, but if you enter the URLs into a browser, they don't all return information. One in particular grabbed my interest, then took me a while to find: The University Leadership Council's 97 page PDF on Redefining the Academic Library: an Education Advisory Board report from 2011. It has some good information and could be of general interest to all of us. I found a link to the PDF as well as a link to a repository that has the pdf. The document is extenssive and engrossing; it touches on issues like the size of a collection losing importance; access to digital collections through Google, HathiTrust, and the Internet Archive; patron driven acquisition models; "Public access mandates from federal research funders and increasing opposition to rising journal prices have begun to push publishers to make more content available on the web at no cost"; open-textbook pilots; and redeploying Library staff.

Other resources include the 55 page California Digital Library Value Review and Recommendations Final Draft which includes a few "emerging opportunities:" Like the delivery and access to licensed resources on mobile devices and the learning management systems used by scholars; the presentation of resources in a unified fashion via a portal; publishing digital textbooks with interactive dynamic tools; the availability of data repositories for students; and building activity and delivery of digital audio and video.

Penn State
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March 27, symposium 2010.
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