David W. Lewis
Dean of the IUPUI University Library
Indiana University/Purdue University, Indianapolis
For some time it has been clear that the role of libraries will change in light of developments in networked information. The discussion to date has largely been based on supply-side concerns: the increasing cost of journals and the need to develop alternatives through open access mechanisms such as institutional repositories.
This presentation will present a model of the future demand for library materials over the next several decades. The model indicates, not surprisingly, that the type of materials users can be expected to use will change dramatically. The unexpected result is that libraries that are prepared to develop collections that follow the lead of their users can do so with budgetary increases that are quite reasonable. The model suggests that increases in the range of 1% to 3% per year are possible even if the costs of a digital library and repository programs are included.
The changes in collection strategies suggested by this model are similar to those imagined by those who have taken a supply-side view. The important insight added by this work is that the transition in collecting practices can be managed without exceptional budget increase and without undue negative impact on library users.
Hopefully this presentation of the model will result in a discussion of the future of library collections and the best paths to reach this future.