ATG Book of the Week: Reimagining the Academic Library

ReimaginingTitle: Reimagining the Academic Library
Author: David Lewis
ISBN: 978-1-4422-3857-2, $85.00 • (£54.95); Paperback: 978-1-4422-3858-9, $40.00 • (£24.95); eBook; 978-1-4422-6338-3,  $39.99 • (£24.95) 

Imprint: Lanham, Maryland:  Rowman & Littlefield, 2016

“Academic libraries are in the midst of significant disruption. Academic librarians and university administrators know they need to change, but are not sure how. Bits and pieces of what needs to happen are clear, but the whole picture is hard to grasp.

Reimagining the Academic Library paints a simple straightforward picture of the changes affecting academic libraries and what academic librarians need to do to respond to the changes would help to guide future library practice. The aim is to explain where academic libraries need to go and how to get there in a book that can be read in a weekend.

David Lewis provides a readable survey of the current state of academic library practice and proposes where academic libraries need to go in the future to provide value to their campuses. His primary focus is on collections as this is the area with the greatest opportunity for change and is the driver of most library cost. Lewis provides an accessible framework for thinking about how library practice needs to adjust in the digital environment.

The book will be useful not only to academic librarians, but also for librarians to share with presidents and provosts who a concise source for understanding where and how to focus their expenditures on libraries.”




David Lewis, always a thoughtful commentator on changing roles and responsibilities of academic libraries, has skillfully painted a picture of what the digital library looks like and explains the driving forces that led to the transition. With collection building no longer at the center, libraries are called upon to become stewards of their campus-produced information and knowledge, preparing it to be useful to the far broader networked world. What librarians and higher education administrators will find so useful in his work are the ten things academic libraries need to do now to meet the needs of their users in the digital environment.
Deanna Marcum, Managing Director, Ithaka S+R



With this insightful and very readable book, David Lewis, a true visionary thought leader, opens with an excellent description of the forces that academic libraries and librarians face in an increasingly digital world. He then offers a framework and six “steps down the road” for re-envisioning the future library in this context. This is a “must read” for every academic librarian and other leaders in higher education. The concluding chapter, “Ten Things to Do Now”, and the extensive bibliography alone are worth the price of this book.
Maureen Sullivan, Consultant and 2012-2013 President of the American Library Association


Reimagining the Academic Library is an insightful and inciteful sweep of the current state of academic library context, practice and direction. The book commands the literature of the field, and the relevant business, economic and technology thinking to help the profession work through the challenges of disruption, resources, digital transformation, professional demographics, and the new scholarly record. David Lewis concludes his book with a rousing call to collective innovation and action.
James G. Neal, University Librarian Emeritus, Columbia University


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