January 17, 2022

Report: “How University of Oregon Libraries Plan to Continue Growing in a Digital World”

From The Daily Emerald:

Three major expansions and a name change later, the Knight Library doesn’t work alone, supplemented by the likes of the John E. Jaqua Law Library and the Allan Price Science Commons and Research Library. Despite the different buildings, Dean of Libraries Mark Watson identified not only the UO libraries but every library in the Pacific Northwest as “one collective, gigantic library.”

Part of the collective library concept manifests through the continued evolution of the library model, accommodating and providing access to information. That access comes largely through technology and using the connection that academics, students and citizens have through the internet to educate, something Watson called “ubiquitous connectivity.” He warned students of underestimating the resources of the library system.


“You’ve got 400, 500 databases online,” Watson said. “Do you know where to start?” Librarians, he said, would become guides. “The best will be Shamans.”

Watson said that as digital collections grow, library space allocation will change. Most of the space is used to house print materials, Watson said, and as books and journals gain “electronic surrogates,” there will be less of a need for warehousing books. Many institutions use off-site storage, organizing their materials into shared repositories, he said.


The Digital Research Education and Media Lab debuted last fall in its home on the Knight Library’s ground floor.

The DREAM Lab is designed to “provide a space for faculty and graduate students looking to build digital scholarship,” according to Digital Scholarship Librarian Kate Thornhill. One skill digital scholarship librarians are trained for is helping faculty redesign their courses to accommodate open access resources, free materials available online.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.