Libraries of all types have undergone significant developments in the last few decades. The rate of change in the academic library, a presence for decades now, has been increasing in the first decade of this century. It is no exaggeration to claim that it is undergoing a top to bottom redefinition.
In this second volume of the series, Creating the 21st-Century Academic Library, we explore the initiatives in student learning and training that are underway in our academic libraries. The 13 chapters range from librarians redesigning the space in the library in order to assume control of the campus bookstore to implementing a MOOC where the problems of providing material to potentially thousands of students taking an online course must somehow overcome copyright restrictions. A chapter describes how the iPad has become the chosen delivery mechanism for a rich array of resources that finally begin to reflect the educational potential of the digital world. Another chapter tells how a collaboration creates an audio archive to enrich the experiences of patrons and raise the visibility of the special collections unit on campus. Gamification plays a role in two chapters and active learning is featured in another that employs the technologies of interactive whiteboards, clickers, and wireless slates.
These approaches, employing new technologies and terminology, signal that we have begun a new era in the definition and design of the academic library. We can’t expect the redefined academic library to assume its final shape any time soon, if ever, but the transformation is well underway.