Military Libraries come in all shapes and sizes. We’re academic libraries, supporting Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees. We’re public libraries, complete with children’s story hours and retiree’s financial resources. We’re also other types of special libraries: medical; history; science, technology & engineering; intelligence; and headquarters support. The Military Libraries Division brings together members from all U.S. military services, Canadian Combined Armed Forces, international military services, contractors, vendors, academic institutions and anyone with an interest in military librarianship. Check us out at http://military.sla.org/. – Gloria Miller is a Librarian at the Headquarters, U.S. Army Materiel Command, Redstone Arsenal (Huntsville), Alabama. She is currently the Chair-Elect of the Military Libraries Division.
compiled by Gail Nicula, Joint Forces Staff College
DOD Academic Librarians anticipate a future that looks like this:
- The shift from print resources to electronic resources to increase dramatically. The reference collection will disappear, along with the journal stacks.
- Library space will open up for group collaboration, non-traditional classroom spaces, and labs.
- Libraries will be seen less as “place” and more as “resource” and “service.”
- Our staff will communicate electronically more than we do face to face.
- Blended and distance learning will be a driving force in this shift.
- Our users will demand mobility — 24/7 access to content and services from anywhere, anytime on any device.
- The growing number of mobile devices will also impact the way patrons access our collections. Our jobs as librarians will be to not only bridge the electronic resources to the patrons but also educate them on use and functionality.
- We must be mobile savvy. With the influx of mobile phone technology in smart phones, tablets, and e-readers, librarians will need to be able to assist customers who want to use these devices to facilitate their learning and curriculum goals.
- We will adapt to the “consumerization of IT.” Our staff and our customers will take for granted the integration of products used at home with products used at work. The lines between traditional library services and traditional IT services will become increasingly fuzzy.
- Libraries, and by extension IT departments, are going to have to start integrating new policies and procedures to guide workers’ use of these devices. This is a significant challenge for Department of Defense Libraries, given security and Information Assurance requirements. We must find a way to ensure that new technologies, delivery systems, and information “containers” are compatible with security regulations.
- We will continue to digitize – to make available our unique resources beyond the confines of DOD libraries – historical documents from World War II, the Vietnam War, Desert I and Desert II, for example.
- Our academic libraries will continue to be more closely aligned with the teaching process. We will be more involved in course design and development.
Many thanks to: Ed Burgess, Army Command and General Staff College; Dave Coleman, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies; Jason Girard, Joint Forces Staff College; Dr. Jeff Luzius, Air University; and Eleanor Uhlinger, Naval Postgraduate School for their help with this post!
Dr. Gail Nicula (Virginia Chapter, Military Libraries Division) is the library director at the Ike Skelton Library, Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA. She is also an adjunct faculty member in the College of Business and Public Administration, Old Dominion University.
Ed Burgess (Heart of America Chapter, Government Information and Military Libraries Division) is the director of the Combined Arms Research Library in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He is practicing to become a windy curmudgeon in his old age.
Dave Coleman is the webpage manager and reference librarian for the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Jason Girard is on staff at the Ike Skelton Library, Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA.
Dr. Jeff Luzius is the director of the Fairchild Research Information Center at Air University. Dr. Luzius also is an adjunct professor at the University of Alabama in the School of Library & Information Science.
Eleanor Uhlinger is the Library Director at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA.