Task Force on Future of Libraries begins work

Group seeks bold new vision for research libraries

Chris Bourg, Director of MIT Libraries, sent the following message to the library community announcing the Ad Hoc Task Force on the Future of Libraries.

iPad with book“You all might be interested in the work we will be doing in the coming year at MIT to grapple with the big existential questions about the future of libraries.

What I am hoping to accomplish with this task force is something quite beyond the usual strategic planning process – the faculty I have asked to join this effort represent a broad range of expertise in relevant areas: big data needs, civic media, scholarly publishing, digital pedagogy, community building, the sharing economy, operational research and supply chain management, history of the book, public spaces and technology, and more. The guy who literally wrote the book on Why Information Grows is on the Task Force.

Hayden LibraryI’ve asked this group to approach the questions laid out in the Task Force charge not as patrons of the libraries, but as an interdisciplinary group approaching important research questions: What should a modern research library be and what unique contributions can the MIT Libraries make to research, teaching, and the scholarly communications landscape?

In addition to the online Idea Bank, I expect the group to gather data and input from other domain experts in a variety of ways. We will be taking advantage of the on-campus presence of the 2015 MIT McDermott Award winner David Adjaye in February with a panel discussion on the Future of the Library, which will focus on library spaces. We will likely schedule at least one other panel discussion in the Spring with experts on other aspects of libraries, publishing, research and teaching.”

For more details on the group’s work, see Provost Martin A. Schmidt’s letter to the MIT community regarding the Task Force.