|Centre ponders library of the future
Doherty Library to undergo major renovation as part of College Centre project
RELEASED: Feb. 6, 2003
DANVILLE, KYIn an age when almost everything is available on the Internet, do libraries still have a role?
Of course, said former University of Kentucky library director Paul Willis in Danville on Tuesday (Feb. 4), but it will be different.
"The digital trend is clear, like it or not," he said. But "mining electronic information" is both "easier and more complex than in print."
"Libraries are in transition from being collectors of information to disseminating information," said Willis. "The trick for Centre is to figure out how do you build a library when libraries are in transition."
Willis, who oversaw the building of the University of Kentucky's new Young Library before moving to the University of South Carolina, spoke to a small group of Centre professors, administrators, librarians, and trustees who gathered to discuss the future of the undergraduate library.
Centre's Doherty Library will soon undergo a major renovation and expansion as part of the $22-million College Centre project.
Willis offered a number of suggestions for the new library, including the importance of a library's Web page in helping studentsand facultynavigate the vast amount of information available online. Citing a recent study that showed 94 percent of students begin their research online, he also noted the importance of teaching students how to evaluate the material they find on the Web. "You can make your college more competitive if you can teach students how to get the most current and the most comprehensive information on the Internet," he said.
And gone are the days when libraries welcomed only silent, solitary scholars.
The library of the future should be an "academic gathering place," said Willis. "The library as community, as the campus commons, is very important. We need to gather somewhere besides the athletic field."
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