On Wednesday, April 7, 2021, the Chronicle of Higher Education hosted a webinar on the future of academic libraries, in light of the recent pandemic. Several librarians from the Missouri State University Libraries attended.
Scott Carlson from the Chronicle of Higher Education served as the moderator of this panel discussion. The panelists included:
- Alexia Hudson-Ward from MIT: She encouraged us to leverage our library spaces as community spaces (both on campus and beyond) to help the fractured university community to come back together. Community engagement will be vital as academic libraries emerge from this pandemic.
- Joe Lucia at Temple U: Just opened a new library. Renovated library spaces that facilitate current and future information work will be vital. Temple moved their entire educational programming and events online. What should/needs to come back to face-to-face? What future configurations are needed for instructional spaces? Lucia encouraged us to focus on user information needs, more than on organizational needs and the dominant organizational culture.
- Mary Anne Mavrinac from the U. of Rochester: They also are renovating their interior library spaces. Grand reading rooms still are among the most popular spaces in academic libraries. Sensor-based technology in spaces and furniture enables users to quickly see available spaces in the physical library. She also encouraged us to be welcoming and inclusive for historically marginalized groups of students, faculty, and staff.