University Futures, Library Futures

OCLC Research and Ithaka S+R are examining the impact of increased institutional differentiation in universities on the organization of academic libraries and the services they provide. For decades, models of excellence in academic library service have been shaped by a collections-centric paradigm in which the size of local print inventory is considered a key indicator of quality. OCLC Research and Ithaka are joining forces to develop a new framework for understanding the fit between emerging library service paradigms and university types.

Data Set and Scoring Formula

Launched in March 2017, the University Futures, Library Futures project is examining how changes in the US higher education landscape are informing the organization and delivery of academic library services. To enable a systematic examination and comparison of US higher education institutions, OCLC researchers Constance Malpas and Rona Stein developed a working model, which is based on statistical indicators of 1,500 US colleges and universities.

Their model reveals two dimensions:

  • The Primary Educational Activity, which they conceive of as the "WHAT" dimension, tracks educational offers with a Research, Liberal Education, or Career focus
  • The Enrollment Profile and Learning Experience, which they conceive of as the "FOR WHOM AND HOW" dimension, tracks mode of provision on a Traditional-Residential to New-Traditional/Flexible continuum.  

Now Malpas and Stein are making the underlying dataset for the UFLF project along with the scoring formula available for download.

Download Spreadsheet .xlsx


Learn More

Visit the University Futures, Library Futures project page.