universities prepare students for careers, or should they be grounded in a broad intellectual framework? Both! Doesn’t it make sense for today’s engineer to have exposure to sociology and international relations? Shouldn’t every humanities major know what a genome is? To succeed over the course of their lives, our students will need broad, cross-cutting skills, ease in working across cultures, more than one language, and the ability to continue learning forever. Looking Toward the Future The industrial age is over. The workplaces our students and new professors are entering will morph and change more quickly than at any time in history. Developing flexible, porous, fluid chambers of knowledge that our graduates can apply to an ever-changing workplace is very different from “training” a worker to do one thing for 50 years. Fortunately, we have three factors on our side: • one—the human brain, whose very design is flexible, porous, and fluid in its capacities • two—the university research library, whose multi-dimensional intellectual architecture is as close a representation as we will ever get to humanity’s collective intellect and • three—you, our librarians who shape and steward these extraordinary resources and connect others to them. I will close with some of the conclusions that emanate from the policy work I have been involved with, in the North American and international contexts, conclusions emanating from benchmarking the postsecondary, research and innovation policies of our two countries against those in Europe and the emerging economy countries. I will leave it to you to determine the extent to which you, as leaders of our university libraries, currently engage in these practices or not, and whether it makes sense for you to do so. 1. Understand the mission, distinctive strengths, and vulnerabilities of your organization and the programs you lead within them. 2. Develop goals and targets to build on and sustain these distinctive strengths and to overcome or reshape vulnerabilities. RLI 276 9 Ahead of the Storm: Research Libraries and the Future of the Research University ( C O N T I N U E D ) SEPTEMBER 2011 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A QUARTERLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC Developing flexible, porous, fluid chambers of knowledge that our graduates can apply to an ever-changing workplace is very different from “training” a worker to do one thing for 50 years.