If libraries do not seriously rethink their role in the lives of researchers, they could come to be seen more as resource purchasers than as research collaborators, according to a report released today by the nonprofit group Ithaka S+R.
“As scholars have grown better able to reach needed materials directly online, the library has been increasingly disintermediated from research processes,” write the authors of the report, which is based on a national survey of professors administered last year.
“The declining visibility and importance of traditional roles for the library and librarian may lead to the faculty primarily perceiving the library as a budget line, rather than an active intellectual partner,” they later add.
More people are using search engines, such as Google, as their first and primary search tool for searching information. Institutional universities may need to re-evaluate their websites and services in order to engage faculty and students more effectively. Nevertheless, librarians are participating in more outreach and collaboration with different units across campus.