Missed Opportunity

We cannot allow this to happen in New York.

In September of 2006 a remarkably impressive commission, including educational and business leaders from across the country, reported to United States Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings on the future of higher education in America.

In the entire 76 page document you will not find the words “library” or “librarian.” Not once. Among the hundreds of groups and institutions providing comment to the commission, not a single one explicitly respresented libraries. Not one.

In its conclusion, the commission reached concensus on setting the following goals:
1. “a world-class higher-education system that creates new knowledge, contributes to economic prosperity and global competitiveness, and empowers citizens;
2. a system that is accessible to all Americans, throughout their lives;
3. institutions that provide high-quality instruction while improving their efficiency in order to be more affordable to the students,
taxpayers, and donors who sustain them;
4. a system that gives Americans the workplace skills they need to adapt to a rapidly changing economy;
5. institutions to adapt to a world altered by technology, changing demographics and globalization, in which the higher-education
landscape includes new providers and new paradigms, from for-profit universities to distance learning.”

All of these goals are central to the academic enterprise, and none of the are acheiveable without academic and research libraries.

New York’s academic libraries have a opportunity, and an obligation, that was neglected at the federal level. NYSHEI will ensure that this obligation is met, and the opportunity seized.


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