The Best of NSR: Academic libraries are shrinking, while content is growing. How did we get here?

The Best of NSROriginally published in the Fall of 2016, this opinion piece on the present and future of academic libraries remains one of the most read articles on NSR. Michael Zeoli (VP, YBP Library Services and Publisher Relations) takes a close look at how collection development practices have evolved in academic settings in recent years, especially since the advent of ebooks and proliferation of digital content. Regardless of how familiar book professionals are with complex purchasing models in academic libraries, it is important that we understand how we ‘got here’ before we can understand how best to move forward.

We also must acknowledge that we all participated in the creation of complex business models for buying and managing content. We must now all participate in simplifying them. The reality is, as Michael explains, the academic library world is shrinking, even as more content is created and new technologies are implemented. This raises serious questions about the future of the academic library and the roles we all play in shaping it. Perhaps the most important sentence in the piece is: “All parts of our ecosystem have an active role to play; none should act out of fear and remain passive.” Read the full article here. —Ed.


If you are a book, library or information professional interested in contributing to NSR, please contact the Editorial Director at mirelaroncevic@gmail.com. Please include a writing sample and a brief description of the topic you wish to explore. For more on NSR’s vision, visit our About and Mission pages. To browse our opinion pieces for inspiration, visit our Ideas page.

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