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Academic libraries and librarians are now struggling to find a place amidst tradition and change while dealing with increasing operational costs, unstable students enrollment, library customers' growing and changing needs, as well as with changes in information access, storage, and retrieval. All of these seem to be effecting change in the role of academic libraries and librarians' responsibilities. New information technology is another leading force driving libraries and librarians into what seems to be a hard-to-figure-out role in the new millennium. These changes are taking place at the same time that universities in the United States are trying to bolster the value of academic degrees that are waning under public and government pressure. The possible effects of these forces on library cooperation, library education, information globalization, and the mission of the librarian are discussed in this paper. These could be precursors an incipient paradigm that Academic Librarianship needs to think about and develop. It could be a time when we US academic librarians need to seek something more than the comfort of that of what they know; we need to go beyond the current mindset. To illustrate this push and pull, the experience at the Healey Library of the University of Massachusetts in Boston is used to show how a library and its librarians are grappling with dramatic changes.


Proceedings of the 1998 New Information Technology conference.



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