Looking through the COVID fog: Toward resilient, reimagined libraries

Christopher Cox, Elliot Felix, Greg Raschke, Mary Ann Mavrinac


Like so many facets of higher education, academic libraries adapted admirably when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Collections and consultations moved online. Books went contactless for pick-up, drop-off, and shipping. Events went virtual. Seats in the library spread out. Learning and research continued.

As COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed, it’s time to look to the future and understand which adaptations will remain, what trends will accelerate, and where progress may be on hold. Will libraries continue as hubs that bring together information, collections, technology, services, and spaces to support creativity, create knowledge, build community, inspire concentration, and foster collaboration? Or will there be retrenchment into quiet study halls divorced from student success, coursework, and the research enterprise? To answer these questions, we offer four big ideas for the future on library spaces, services, and collections.

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Copyright Christopher Cox, Elliot Felix, Greg Raschke, Mary Ann Mavrinac

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