> There is a very interesting summary of a research report by the Chronicle of
> Higher Education, "The College of 2020" (available at:
> They discuss the various changes in colleges and on page 2 they write:
> "Colleges must be ready to offer all those options. The challenge will be
> provide them simultaneously and be flexible enough to change the methods as
> the market changes. Faculty members must be flexible, too. The Internet has
> made most information available to everyone, and faculty members must take
> that into consideration when teaching. There is very little that students
> cannot find on their own if they are inspired to do so. And many of them
> will be surfing the Net in class. The faculty member, therefore, may become
> less an oracle and more an organizer and guide, someone who adds perspective
> and context, finds the best articles and research, and sweeps away
> misconceptions and bad information."
> It is very interesting how they predict that it will be the faculty member
> and not the librarian who will "find the best articles and research and
> sweeps away misconceptions and bad information."
> How do they propose that faculty members can discover the best articles and
> research? What tools will they use? Will it only be through Google searches,
> blogs and email lists?
> Also noteworthy is the statement, "There is very little that students
> find on their own if they are inspired to do so" which is certainly
> but my own experience. Using the term "inspiration" seems a bit out
> of place
> as well. What I have seen is that students take very little interest in
> these matters until they are quite literally forced into it. Some may take a
> genuine, if temporary, interest in their classes, and I believe I have even
> "inspired" some students myself. Still, I find it a very strange use
> of the
> term. Someone's "inspiration" can't help them much when they are
> Instead, people have to know how to use the tools at their disposal.
> I admit that it may not be fair to criticize a report only through the
> executive summary (although that is all most people will read anyway,
> especially when you have to pay $75 or more for the full report), so I am
> sure I am missing some vital information.
> Still, I am sure it will be a major report and provides an insight into some
> of the modern views of information retrieval held by non-librarians.
> Jim Weinheimer