Reimagining the Academic Library

Rowman & Littlefield. May 2016. 192p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781442238572. $85; ebk. ISBN 9781442263383. PRO MEDIA
Beginning with the premise that in order to create an academic library that meets scholarly needs, we first need to have a vision or image of this future institution, Lewis (dean, Indiana Univ.-Purdue Univ. Indianapolis Lib.) reimagines academic libraries using educator and scholar Clayton Christensen's idea of disruptive innovation as a launching point. The author of numerous articles on academic libraries and scholarly communication, Lewis urges academic libraries to develop new business models and "find opportunities to be the disrupter who develops new services and products that use the available technologies" or face obsolescence. Proposing a blueprint or "road," the author divides the chapters into two parts: the forces we face and the steps down the road. Including input from many library professionals, the concluding chapter outlines what steps need to happen: retiring the print collection, developing a design plan, hiring and developing the needed staff expertise, selling the change, etc.
VERDICT An important resource for academic librarians, higher education administrators, and those involved in strategic planning to help guide the discussions of how to allocate library resources.
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