The Social Future of Academic Libraries: New Perspectives on Communities, Networks, and Engagement

Facet Dec. 2022. 200p. ISBN 9781783304721. $125.95. PRO MEDIA
Paul Bracke (dean of libraries, Gonzaga Univ.), Sheila Corrall (retired LIS, Univ. of Pittsburgh), and Schlak (associate provost, Robert Morris Univ.) explore the vital role that communities, networks, and engagement play in demonstrating the value of academic librarianship. The editors divide the work into three parts: a deep editorial dive into the theory of social librarianship; a survey of practical examples for realizing theoretical concepts in real-life settings; and two downloadable biblio-glossaries. Due to the philosophical complexity of the theory section, readers will likely find more utility in section two, where practitioners describe social capital in their day-to-day work, promoting relationships in literacy, data management, engagement, and more. While some of the highlighted programs have been in place for some time, the contributions dovetail nicely with the proposed theoretical model. Great care and energy have been given to citing sources and accessing new terminology, as is evident in the downloadable glossaries. Overall, this scholarly work, exploring the current identity crisis of academic libraries regarding value, is a helpful reminder to administrators and professionals why those in academic librarianship do what they do—for their users.
VERDICT This work serves as a solid primer, connecting social capital and social networking theories and practice to academic librarianship. A positive addition to academic library collections.
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