Publication Date

Fall 2009

Document Type



Library and Information Science


Published in The Christian Librarian, 52, no. 3 (2009): 76-84. Originally presented as a keynote address to the annual conference of the Association of Christian Librarians, Springfield, MO, 10 June 2009.


Librarianship has changed substantially in recent years. We who work in libraries must continually acquire new knowledge and skills. We must adapt to the reality that academic libraries, along with their parent institutions, face increased accountability. The functions that many of us have thought to be at the core of our profession are slipping from our grasp and will leave behind a mere managerial role. Nevertheless, many academic libraries will find a viable future by adopting and taking seriously the role of supporting learning. As we look at disruptive innovators in the information and learning scene, we should consider carefully whether to treat them as competitors or partners. Our libraries’ prospects will be bright if we learn to analyze data, make evidence-based decisions, and communicate to our constituents the value that our libraries create. And while many emerging technologies vie for implementation, we must exercise Christian judgment regarding their ultimate value.