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.
We 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. Without information skills students are challenged in their studies and their lives after graduation.
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 either individually or in groups.
In the world of the web, the way we think about library collections changes. In the past, the 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 open scholarship.
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. The renovation of the third and fourth levels of the library building will assist us as we continue to pursue our mission.
Dean of the IUPUI University Library