This update is brought to you by IFLA Academic and Research Libraries Section

The post-COVID period has been transformational for academic and research libraries, and has challenged librarians to take on leadership roles and embrace change in support of students and researchers. Libraries have seen significant growth in digital scholarship, and increased global attention on open science, open publication, and open data. In response, libraries have built new services and platforms to support new and emerging user needs, and in many cases have served as advocates for changing business models and approaches to scholarly communications.

Issues of social justice, antiracism, diversity, equity, and inclusion have also been increasingly visible, and sometimes divisive, challenging librarians to keep lines of communication open and to think in new ways about building and managing collections. Most recently, the rapid growth in the adoption of generative AI, large language models, and machine learning have created remarkable opportunities for library workers to rapidly integrate new tools and literacies into their services, collections, and spaces, but also presented challenges as librarians and users alike work to integrate these tools in ways that are effective and inclusive.

All of these rapid advancements present challenges but are also significant opportunities for libraries, and librarians, to embrace change, and to take the lead in building dynamic partnerships with our user communities.

Author:  Mimi Calter, Vice Provost & University Librarian Washington University Libraries, St. Louis – Chair, IFLA Academic and Research Libraries Section