The Evolution of the Academy: Alt-Ac and the Future of the Library

Steven Bell and John Shank, co-founders of the Blended Librarians Online Learning Community and their guests, Elliott Shore (Executive Director of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL)) and Christa Williford (Program Officer, Council on Library and Information Resources) explore the emerging ecology of positions and roles in Higher Education and examine the roles libraries and allied departments might play in relation to the emerging Alt-Academic movement.

Dr. Elliott ShoreElliott Shore was appointed the Executive Director of the Association effective January 1, 2013, where he is responsible for the administration of all operations and programs of the 125 member–driven organization.

From 1997 to 2012, Dr. Shore served as the Constance A. Jones Director of Libraries and Professor of History at Bryn Mawr College, one of the top liberal arts colleges in the US. In 2002, he was appointed Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the college. As Director of Libraries, Dr. Shore modernized and streamlined library operations by combining departments, realigning collections appropriations, and adding new areas of collection development. He served as co-principal investigator on three grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation totaling $1 million, focusing on collaborative collection development and the use of technology in teaching and learning. As CIO he reorganized the college’s library and computing operations into a single Information Services unit. He also overhauled the college’s core computing operations and significantly increased collaboration with neighboring Haverford College.

Christa WillifordChrista Williford is a Program Officer at the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). She has co-coordinated the Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant program since 2008, in addition to working on programs related to the future of research and the professions of scholarship. She came to CLIR from Haverford College, where she was User Services Librarian. She held a CLIR Postdoctoral Fellowship in Academic Libraries from 2004 to 2006 at Bryn Mawr College, and a fellowship in Theatre and I.T. Modelling at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom from 1999 to 2004. Williford holds an M.L.I.S. from the University of Washington Information School and a Ph.D. in Theatre History, Dramatic Literature, and Criticism from Indiana University. The Council on Library and Information Resources is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning.