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IUPUI dean recognized as visionary leader in library innovation

David Lewis's 1988 work, "Inventing the electronic university," is nominated as "landmark" article for journal's anniversary issue

IUPUI University Library Dean David Lewis argued in a College & Research Libraries article that the rapid evolution of information technology employed in teaching, learning and research presages a "fundamental change" in higher education that will require academic libraries to be less concerned with "the automation of old systems" and more concerned with the "restructuring of institutions."

While the necessity of keeping libraries relevant in the electronic era is a commonplace academic discussion in 2014, Lewis' article, "Inventing the electronic university," was published in 1988.

Today that breakthrough article is one of 30 semifinalists -- selected by the editorial board and past editors of College & Research Libraries -- from which the journal's readers will choose six "landmark" articles for publication in the College & Research Libraries' 75th anniversary issue.

Under Lewis' visionary leadership, IUPUI's University Library has become a leader in using technology to support academic research and learning.

When asked to comment on the importance of libraries, Lewis has said: "Libraries have always done three things: They have saved stuff (mostly documents) for the long haul. They have provided the knowledge communities and organizations need to be effective. They have assisted individuals and taught them the skills needed to find and use information. We do this so that individuals, organizations and communities are productive and so that civilizations are long lasting."

To continue to serve the community and fulfill the University Library's vision of being an innovative leader among urban university libraries, University Library established the Center for Digital Scholarship and built programs focused on information literacy. The center works to provide open access to IUPUI scholarship, research data and the cultural heritage of our community. University Library has created more than 60 collections of unique and historically important materials, accessible to any user via the Web.

"The particulars of what libraries do and how they do it has changed, but their goals are the same, and the need for libraries still exists," Lewis said.

(Article courtesy of Inside IUPUI: