Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton 2020

29. The library in a changing world of scientific communication

Peter Reuter and Andreas Brandtner


The digital transformation has fundamentally changed the work and self-understanding of academic libraries over the course of the past two decades. Early on, library science experts attempted to address what impacts comprehensive digitalisation in research and academic instruction would have on libraries and to anticipate further new developments. There is a general consensus that the key challenges arise from the fact that academic research is now a digital process from the outset and throughout all phases of work. As a result, academic libraries now face new tasks, which include ensuring the accessibility of research data and implementing reliable solutions for storing and long-term archiving of digital data. Today’s libraries not only acquire and make available large volumes of digital information; use of library space has also increased enormously in recent years. Besides providing virtual books, information, and data, libraries can actively support situated learning by creating new kinds of spaces and buildings and thus contribute significantly to the ongoing development of academic cultures of learning and instruction. The traditionally close link between libraries’ role as reservoirs of knowledge and as spaces for instruction and learning continues to define their function within the post-Gutenberg galaxy, even as they develop new forms of serving academic communities.

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston