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Library and Information Science Paper (ID LIS066081)

Author
Makiko NIIMI
Titile
Trends in Services and Concepts in Undergraduate Libraries in the US since the 1990s
Issue
No.66, p.81-126
Issue date
2011-12-26
Resume

Purpose: This paper reviews historical changes and trends in undergraduate libraries in the US since the 1990s, focusing on the contents of services provided, and examines how the concept of‘ undergraduate library service’ has changed in the US.

Methods: First, through an extensive review of the literature, important discussions or assertions on changes in undergraduate libraries are systematically enumerated. Second, 23 universities having their own undergraduate libraries in 2009 were selected, and their services were surveyed by examining their websites and documents published about the undergraduate libraries. Third, a detailed case study was performed for four universities in which the undergraduate library had drastically changed and two universities that introduced a new undergraduate library in the 1990s.

Results: The results show that the services of undergraduate libraries have: 1) become more integrated, 2)played a greater role in university education, and 3) become more sensitive to students’ achievements. Also, library operations for the services have: 1) become more collaborative within the library system, and concurrently 2) become more collaborative with faculty members and campus’s units. On the other hand, the concept of undergraduate library services has changed from “services within libraries exclusively used by undergraduate students in research universities” to“ services for undergraduate students provided totally by the whole library system”. More recently, services have become recognized as an important activity to be executed by the whole university, not only the library, through effective collaboration among departments involved in the education of undergraduate students.

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