“What are your greatest library challenges in today’s digital age?” Part I

In honor of National Library Week, we posed this question to a number of library leaders nation-wide who were more than happy to share their strategies and solutions. To start off this two-part blog post, we’re sharing some of their answers that touch on the issues of sustainability and keeping up with the speed of information in the digital age. Read responses from Liane Taylor, Xan Arch, and Amanda Thomas below, and catch Part II tomorrow featuring answers relating to user experience and relationship-building!

What are your greatest library challenges in today’s digital age?

“Our greatest challenges are a mix of the practical and the cultural. Practically, we are challenged to create and sustain content repository and preservation models that will ensure that researchers in 200 years still have access to the content we are investing in today. This requires us to build and maintain strong relationships and technologies across our industry and outside of it.


“Culturally, when libraries’ advocacy for new technologies, ways of conceiving library services and information access is met with confusion, disinterest, and disagreement, we need to persevere as strong and inspiring agents of change within our larger organizations and communities. ”

Liane Taylor
President-Elect (2014-15)
ALA Reference and Users Services Association (RUSA)



“In today’s digital age, I seek to create a consistent and positive electronic access experience for library users and challenge myself to maintain a physical collection that is focused, relevant, and sustainably sized. “

Xan Arch
Director of Collection Services
Reed College Library





“As a librarian at an interdisciplinary research center, it is important to know the newest databases, online finding aids, citation management tools and trends related to the disciplines we support.


“Staying ahead of the curve in the library world and current in these areas of research can be a challenge because of the speed at which information travels and new information is created in academia.”

Amanda Thomas
Librarian at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences
Stanford University

Check back tomorrow for Part II!

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