When I wrote to you a year ago about the formation of the Future of Libraries task force, I shared my hope that it would be a conversation including many voices. Now, I’m excited to share with you the fruits of this yearlong process that brought out the very best of MIT.
Our discussions were challenging, eye-opening, and inspiring. The diversity of the task force itself—faculty from all five MIT schools; staff from the Libraries, Press, Office of Digital Learning, and Information Systems & Technology; undergraduate and graduate students—enriched those conversations and pushed us to be bold, to imagine a library that serves not only MIT but a global community.
I believe the vision that emerged reflects this inclusive process and bold ambition; you can read more about it in this issue of Bibliotech and on our website. The full report is also available on PubPub, the new open source publishing platform developed in the MIT Media Lab that allows us to continue to engage with the community even after publication. I invite you to join that conversation.
While the task force was imagining the kind of library required by an institution that aims to solve big problems, MIT was launching the Campaign for a Better World, imagining a future where we bring our considerable talents to bear on the world’s greatest challenges. Our goals could not be better aligned.
The Libraries’ vision of a better world is one where there is abundant, equitable, meaningful access to knowledge and research emerging from places like MIT. It’s a world where we have enduring and sustainable models for ensuring that knowledge is available long into the future.
Realizing this future for libraries presents a big challenge and a big opportunity. I’m confident that there is no one better positioned than MIT to embrace them. The outstanding support you have shown for the Libraries over the past year—represented in this issue’s honor roll of donors—only boosts that confidence further. I look forward to pursuing this better world together.
All the best,