Many people who are unfamiliar with academic research libraries have said lately been wondering why we need libraries anymore. Surely, they say, I can find everything I need on Google. Well, no. Google is a terrific source of information, but very little full-text scholarly research is available for free on the Internet, with the exception of Open Access materials. Eric Schmidt, Google's former CEO, himself said that Google indexed only about 0.004% (yes, 4 one-thousandths of 1%) of the material that has been digitized - and digitization is extremely laborious work, especially if you want material to be accessible. Much of the digitized material is hidden, or behind paywalls, and many materials have never been digitized (especially historical materials). Academic research libraries still spend millions of dollars every year on huge databases of scholarly works. They also do all kinds of work with metadata and indexing, to ensure materials are accessible and findable, and they help to train students in Information Literacy, so that they are not fooled by "fake news." Libraries have also taken responsibility for curation and preservation of research data, faculty research, and much more. These points just scratch the tiniest bit of the surface of the value of academic libraries. But don't take it from me - read the experts!
Many academic libraries and professional library associations have worked to determine the ROI (Return On Investment) for institutions investing in their academic libraries. The results are often startling - $1 invested in libraries can yield huge returns. But again - don't believe me! Read the experts -
Need to try it yourself?
Many, many studies have shown that academic libraries have a positive impact on student success, especially in terms of their information literacy and critical thinking skills. A few links are provided below: