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The “librarian’s library” in transition from physical to virtual place: A case study of the Library & Information Science Library at the University of Illinois, USA

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Title: The “librarian’s library” in transition from physical to virtual place: A case study of the Library & Information Science Library at the University of Illinois, USA
Author(s): Searing, Susan E.
Subject(s): library library services Library and Information Science Library LIS Library New Service Models Program library as place University Library academic libraries
Abstract: At the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, a system of distributed, departmental libraries has been in place since the 19th century. A separate Library & Information Science (LIS) Library existed from the 1920s until May 2009, when its collections were merged into other libraries. The new model for LIS library services combines a more robust virtual presence on the web with an intensified human presence in the Graduate School of Library & Information Science building. The changes in LIS library services are part of a much larger initiative to create a more flexible organizational structure for the University Library that recognizes the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of academic inquiry, the critical importance of digital information resources, and the opportunities for collaborative approaches to the provision of library services and collections using information technology. This case study explores several questions: What factors impelled the University of Illinois Library to embark on a re-organization of public and technical services? How were librarians and library users involved in the decision process? What values informed the decisions? Who resisted the changes and why? By posing and answering such questions in the context of a single departmental library, this paper examines issues that affect space utilization in many large academic library systems today. The transformation of the LIS Library demonstrates that the successful transition from a traditional service model to a new one must be grounded in the unique needs and customs of the library, university, and population of users. Because the University of Illinois LIS collection is among the best in North America, its fate is relevant to LIS scholars worldwide.
Issue Date: 2009-08
Citation Info: Searing, Susan E. (2009) The “librarian’s library” in transition from physical to virtual place: A case study of the Library & Information Science Library at the University of Illinois, USA. Paper presented at the IFLA satellite conference, Libraries as Space and Place, Torino, Italy, August 20, 2009
Genre: Conference Paper / Presentation
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/13765
Publication Status: unpublished
Peer Reviewed: not peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS: 2009-09-17
 

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