I am sometimes asked if libraries are needed now that so much information is on the web. There is no doubt that the web has made finding information fast and easy in many cases, and digital information has changed the ways libraries operate in fundamental ways. And yet, libraries continue to be important to the campus and the community.
In the world of the web, the way we think about collections flips. Where in the past our library brought the content created in the world to campus, now the library takes responsibility for content created on campus and in our community, and makes it available to the world. This is a big shift in the way scholarly communication works, and the library sees itself as a supporter of this change by hosting publishing platforms and advocating for new economic models, especially Open Access.
We also work with students to teach them how to critically and ethically use information. In the past, finding information was hard. Now the finding is easy. What is hard is to know how to filter and evaluate content so that its reliability and trustworthiness can be determined.
The library as a place remains important. Students continue to fill our library. They value the variety of spaces available for them to do their academic work.
The library today is changing in fundamental ways, but our underlying mission remains the same: we use our expertise and resources to inform, connect and transform the lives of the people in our community.
Dean of the IUPUI University Library