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IUPUI University Library dean recognized as visionary, leader in library innovation




INDIANAPOLIS — IUPUI University Library Dean David Lewis argued in a College & Research Libraries article that the rapid evolution of information technology employed in teaching, learning and research presages a “fundamental change” in higher education that will require academic libraries to be less concerned with “the automation of old systems” and more concerned with the “restructuring of institutions.”

While the necessity of keeping libraries relevant in the electronic era is a commonplace academic discussion in 2014, Lewis’ article, “Inventing the electronic university,” was published in 1988.

Today that breakthrough article is one of 30 semifinalists — selected by the editorial board and past editors of College & Research Libraries — from which the journal’s readers will choose six “landmark” articles for publication in the College & Research Libraries’ 75th anniversary issue.

Under Lewis’ visionary leadership, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis’ University Library has become a leader in using technology to support academic research and learning.

When asked to comment on the importance of libraries, Lewis has said: “Libraries have always done three things: They have saved stuff (mostly documents) for the long haul. They have provided the knowledge communities and organizations need to be effective. They have assisted individuals and taught them the skills needed to find and use information. We do this so that individuals, organizations and communities are productive and so that civilizations are long lasting.”

To continue to serve the community and fulfill the University Library’s vision of being an innovative leader among urban university libraries, University Library established the Center for Digital Scholarship and built programs focused on information literacy. The center works to provide open access to IUPUI scholarship, research data and the cultural heritage of our community. University Library has created more than 60 collections of unique and historically important materials, accessible to any user via the Web.

“The particulars of what libraries do and how they do it has changed, but their goals are the same, and the need for libraries still exists,” Lewis said.

College & Research Libraries is the official scholarly research journal of the Association of College & Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. The editorial board will also include one “people’s choice” article as a seventh landmark article for the 75th anniversary special issue.

Voting for the finalists and the “people’s choice” article will run through April 13.

University Library is celebrating its 21st year in 2014 with a collection of 21 stories focused on the University Library’s history and impact.

Located at 755 W. Michigan St. in the heart of the IUPUI campus, University Library is a public library, serving nearly 1 million visitors a year, 10 percent of them community users. University Library supports students and faculty across all of IUPUI’s more than 200 degree programs with research expertise and a wide array of resources. Any resident of Indiana is eligible for an IUPUI University Library card.