Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Reinventing the Library for Online Education

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Reinventing the Library for Online Education

Article excerpt

Reinventing the Library for Online Education. By Frederick Stielow. Chicago: ALA, 2014. 306 p. Paper $75 (ISBN: 9780-8389-1208-9).

The role of libraries in the digital age is one of the most widely discussed topics among scholars and practitioners in the information field. As higher education moves toward an increasingly online format and the open web continues to grow in its offerings, the necessity of college and university libraries is repeatedly called into question. Stielow, who currently serves as the Head of Classroom/ Research Information Services at the American Public University System, explores the web's impact on academic libraries from a historical and philosophical perspective. This book is not intended as an instructional manual for distance education librarians, and Steilow leaves his readers with more questions than answers. He points to various technological and social revolutions, including the invention of the mass press and the rise of nationalism, as evidence that the library has weathered disruptions in the past and has evolved to survive. But he also acknowledges that the web presents the most significant obstacle to date for libraries' reinvention and survival. …

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