Dan Greenstein’s dystopian view of the Libraries of the Future was one of the more controversial presentations at Sustainable Scholarship 2009 this past September. While acknowledging the need to streamline the library, Suzanne Thorin, University Librarian from Syracuse, had a theme that was decidedly more upbeat.

Some of the more resonant take-away messages from the conference were:

  • We are not just experiencing a switch from print to digital resources, but also a move toward interdisciplinarity that is breaking down barriers between traditional academic departments and is generating new fields of study (For this, see Donald Waters closing remarks)
  • The need to use our strengths as librarians to offer services that cross institutional boundaries and deeply involve academic departments and institutes (such as online teaching and learning.)
  • The need for the Library to continually focus — and refocus — on the core strengths, growth areas, and mission of the University.
  • Strategies for building sustainable digital projects (i.e. ones that can continue to exist after initial funding is used up.) These included eBird and Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Additional video, audio, and some PowerPoints from the conference can be found here: http://ithaka.org/about-ithaka/events/sustainable-scholarship-2009-1/

Pre-meeting materials are posted at: http://ithaka.org/about-ithaka/events/sustainable-scholarship-2009/ The pre-meeting event was more geared toward conference sponsor;s, JSTOR and Ithaka. For example, Michael Gallagher introduced Data for Research, a new tool for content discovery and data visualization you may wish to try out.

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