The "Service Turn" and the Future of the Academic Library


Scott Walter

Associate University Librarian
Associate Dean of Libraries
Professor of Library Administration
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Thursday, 16 June 2011

9:00-10:30 a.m.
Presentation and Discussion

OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.
Kilgour Building—Auditorium
6565 Kilgour Place
Dublin, OH 43017-3395

This presentation is free and open to the public.

Overview of Presentation

Since its founding, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, like other leading research libraries, has been known for the breadth and depth of its collections. Like many of its peers among the membership of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), Illinois has articulated its role on campus and within the broader academic and information enterprises based on the strength of its collections. But what is the future of "distinctive collections" at a time when access to content is becoming increasingly common? Building on his experience helping to lead the "New Service Models" effort at Illinois, Scott Walter will argue that the future of the academic library depends on our ability to make a "service turn" in our thinking, and to articulate the ways in which "distinctive services" demonstrate our value to our users and our contributions to the teaching, learning, research, and service missions of our campuses. Drawing on examples from a number of institutions, Walter will outline different ways in which "distinctive services" may be identified, and the significance that attention to these service programs may have in informing strategic decisions about the future of academic libraries in a period of significant change.

Biography of Presenter

Scott Walter is Associate University Librarian, Associate Dean of Libraries, and Professor of Library Administration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he also holds faculty appointments in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science and the College of Education. Prior to joining the faculty at Illinois in 2006, Walter served as Assistant Dean of Libraries for Information and Instructional Services at the University of Kansas, and as Interim Assistant Director of Libraries for Public Services and Outreach at Washington State University. Walter has written and presented extensively on information literacy instruction and assessment, public engagement in academic libraries, and continuing and professional education for librarians, and is co-editor of the recently-released collection, The Expert Library: Staffing, Sustaining, and Advancing the Academic Library in the 21st Century (2010). A former Chair of the Association of College & Research Libraries' Education and Behavioral Sciences Section and of the American Educational Research Association's Communication of Research Special Interest Group, Walter is currently serving as a member of the editorial board of College & Research Libraries.

Additional Information

Scott Walter's Home Page

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library—New Service Models

Walter, S. (2011). "'Distinctive Signifiers of Excellence': Library Services and the Future of the Academic Library." [Guest Editorial.] College & Research Libraries, 72 (1), 6-8.

Walter, S. (2008). "The Library as Ecosystem." Library Journal, 133 (16), 28- 30.

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