The 21st Century Academic Library

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University of Alberta Library
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  • Updated.jpg This entry is out of date, and will not be updated, June 2017


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Academic libraries in the 21st century are changing radically when you compare them to the academic libraries of a decade ago. The change is massive, and paradigmatic and mostly due to the Internet, globalization and the availability of information and newer forms of information-sharing and publishing on the web. Should we, as academic librarians, respond to this massive change brought about by new ways of publishing and curating knowledge? How? Is it important to rely on our traditions during a time of change? Even if we could identify which of our many traditions are worth defending, what would they be?

Research questions

  • Can you define the 21st century academic library? What role(s) do academic librarians have in this library?
  • What should a restructured, 21st century, academic library look like in terms of organizational structure?

Competencies needed to fill the roles in the digital age

  • Competencies are "...a combination of skills, knowledge, and behavior patterns vital to organizational success, personal achievement, and career development..."

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