In many cases we are no longer buying materials to be owned by the college forevermore. We are buying access to those materials for our students and faculty for a certain period of time. Scholarly publishing is in the throes of some very large changes, and those changes will have a big effect on libraries in the next 10 years. Our faculty and other creators of scholarly information are increasingly unhappy with the current system whereby a small number of scholarly journal publishers (and that number is getting smaller) package faculty research and sell it back to libraries at great cost. Authors are instead exploring new electronic modes of publication for peer-reviewed articles and are becoming increasingly aware of their own interest in retaining copyright to the work they produce.
Archiving and preservation of electronic resources is a critical issue for libraries and library users. We need a shared set of standards for digitization projects. We need a fuller understanding and extension of the life span of digital formats. We need national agreements speci-fying responsibility for long-term access to digital resources.
By 2010 we should have clearer answers to many of these questions.
In 2010 some descendant of our gateway system will allow students and faculty to have easy, integrated access to library resources, information on student records, class registration, bookstore holdings, course syllabi, a video of last night's visiting lecturer, and the menu for the day in commons.
We'll be spending much more of our library budget on electronic resources, but we'll still be buying books, and most existing printed books will not be converted to digital form. The Library of Congress is undergoing a massive digitization of its collections-the American Memory Project. That effort will convert somewhere between two and three percent of what they hold.
More publishers will be printing books on demand, rather than producing a print run and warehousing what doesn't sell. They won't even create the book until we order it.
There also will be more Burger King-type options for books-we'll be able to order a book to meet our specifications, perhaps a compilation of chapters from a number of different sources.
Reserve readings will mostly be available online rather than at the reserve desk.
We'll be "circulating" electronic books.
We'll have a tower icon on our web pages where you can go to find digital copies of our latest Reed theses.