May 28, 2022

"From Stacks to the Web: the Transformation of Academic Library Collecting" (Preprint)

Title: “From Stacks to the Web: the Transformation of Academic Library Collecting

Author: David W. Lewis

Affiliation: Dean of the IUPUI Library

Source: College and Research Libraries


The existence of a ubiquitous and cheap worldwide communication’s network that increasingly makes documents easily and freely available will require a transformation of academic library collecting practice. It will be driven by a number of specific developments including: the digitization of content; the development of print repositories; the development of e-readers and print-on-demand publishing; the growth of open access; challenges to establish academic publishing organizations; and the growth of new forms of scholarship based on openness and social productivity. If academic libraries are to be successful, they will need to: deconstruct legacy print collections; move from item-by-item book selection to purchase-on-demand and subscriptions; manage the transition to open access journals; focus on curating unique items; and develop new mechanisms for funding national infrastructure.

Different parts of the Ocean contained different sorts of stories, and as all the stories that had ever been told and many that were still in the process of being invented could be found here, the Ocean of the Streams of Story was in fact the biggest library in the universe. And because the stories were held here in fluid form, they retained the ability to change, to become new versions of themselves, to join up with other stories and so become yet other stories; so that unlike a library of books the Ocean of the Streams of Story was much more than a storeroom of yarns. It was not dead but alive.

Note: This article was accepted for publication during November, 2011. The anticipated publication date is January, 2013

Direct to Full Text (Preprint)
30 pages; PDF

Another Preprint by David W. Lewis

“The Inevitability of Open Access”
by David W. Lewis (Dean of the IUPUI Library)
Source: College and Research Libraries
Accepted For Publication: September 11, 2011; Anticipated Publication Date: July 2012

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.