ALA points to trends that are clearly visible in Norway and Europe as well – but not so well articulated, perhaps:
Data curation, digital resource management and preservation, assessment, scholarly communication, and improved services for graduate students are growth areas for academic libraries, according to an ACRL review of trends and issues affecting academic libraries. Understanding and preparing for these roles are key to the future of academic libraries.
Three crucial areas
- Publishing. More academic libraries are entering the world of scholarly publishing by creating or expanding services.
- Amherst (Mass.) College, for example, plans to relaunch its university press this year in a project described as a new “economic model” for libraries. The plan is to initially publish 15 peer-reviewed, edited titles in the liberal arts exclusively in freely accessible, digital formats.
- The project suggests a model that significantly alters the role of libraries in the information economy.
- “If enough libraries begin doing [this], at some point there is going to be a critical mass of freely available scholarly literature—literature that libraries don’t have to purchase,” (Scott Jaschik) …
- Data curation. Funding agencies including the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) now have requirements that promote open access to the underlying data gathered during grant-funded research projects.
- … there will be a growing demand for library professionals with data-curation, data-mining, and analytical skills,
- a recent report from the ACRL highlighted the need and imperative for research data services in colleges and universities.
- academic librarians will play a pivotal role in the description, management, storage, access, and reuse of data.
- Staffing. Academic libraries provided 26.2 percent of all jobs for new library school graduates in 2012, according to an October 2012 article in Library Journal , up from 17.7 percent in 2011.
- The average starting salary for new academic librarians was $45,654, up from $40,500 in 2011.
- Jobs in academic libraries in particular offered unique opportunities to work with emerging technologies, digital repositories, and instructional design.
- Not surprisingly, nearly half (47.1 percent) of the new reference librarians were hired by academic libraries in 2011.