The current status of the UC Berkeley Library and its “desired future mission” is the focus of a new campuswide task force sponsored by the campus administration and the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate.
The Commission on the Future of the Library, established in September, is tasked with assessing the library’s current holdings and inter-library print and electronic resources, its acquisition program, administrative operations and the services it provides to faculty and students. The panel will also envision library services, staffing, technology and financial models that would best serve the campus’s research and teaching mission in the future, “with the tentative horizon of 20 years.”
The 12-member commission will be co-chaired by Carla Hesse, dean of social sciences, and James Midgley, a professor of social welfare.
The context for this fresh assessment of the library is the combination of ongoing budgetary pressures and “changes in technology, scholarly communication and research modalities, and student study habits,” write Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer and Academic Senate Chair Christina Maslach in their charge letter.
UC Berkeley’s world-renowned research library, like many of its peer institutions around the country, “has been wrestling with these issues for years,” they write. The most recent comprehensive look at the Library was in 1997-98.
The commission plans to seek input from a wide range of campus constituencies — among them students, the University Librarian and senior campus administrators — via public meetings and a soon-to-be-established website, where interested parties may submit comments and relevant materials. Its report is due mid-March 2013.