Leadership and Academic Librarians
Individual librarians and their personal leadership are contributing to changes in the library profession and the expanding career opportunities available to academic librarians. Not long ago many librarians saw their careers as limited to the confines of their library's four walls. There is a growing range of opportunities for librarians to hold influential positions outside of the library.
Libraries have been an integral part of American higher education since 1636, when the Massachusetts Bay Colony's college at Cambridge was founded and then, two years later, took the name of John Harvard in recognition of the bequest of his library. Today the more than 3500 colleges and universities in the United States have collections that total many millions of volumes. In the intervening years, libraries have functioned in varying ways, depending upon the changing and developing purposes and policies of the institutions they have served. During this time the role of the librarian has changed from that of keeper of books to one of broad responsibilities for sophisticated information services. The academic librarian of today is a consummate professional, responsible for providing information services to faculty and students using every available technology.