Gateways to Knowledge

Gateways to Knowledge

The Role of Academic Libraries in Teaching, Learning, and Research

Edited by Lawrence Dowler





Gateways to Knowledge is about change, about suspending old ideas without rejecting them and rethinking the purpose of the university and the library. Proponents of the gateway concept—which ties together these fifteen essays by scholars, librarians, and academic administrators—envision the library as a point of access to other library and research resources, and electronically beyond; as a place for teaching; and as a site for services and support where students and faculty can locate and use the information they need in the form in which they need it.

Struggling to define the library of the future, librarians have too often bolted new technology, programs, and services on to existing library functions. These essays focus instead on how information may be packaged and disseminated in a networked environment, as well as on how to think about the nature and qualities of electronic information.

There are discussions of specific gateway projects such as the Mann Library at Cornell, the new gateway library at the University of Southern California, the Information Arcade at the University of Iowa, and of "Who Built America?"—one of the most interesting new educational software packages currently available.

ContributorsAnthony Appiah (Harvard University), Steve Brier (City University of New York), Richard DeGennaro (Harvard College), Lawrence Dowler (Harvard College), Billy E. Frye (Emory University), Paul Ginsparg (Los Alamos National Laboratory), Richard Lanham (University of California, Los Angeles), Anita Lowry (University of Iowa), Peter Lyman (University of California at Berkeley), Patrick Manning (Northeastern University), Jan Olsen (Cornell University), Karen Price (Harvard University), Richard Rockwell (University of Michigan), Roy Rosenzweig (George Mason University), John Unsworth (University of Virginia), James Wilkinson (Harvard University)


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262041591 250 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


Lawrence Dowler


  • This valuable collection addresses the most critical issue facing and academic and research libraries as they move into the digital age: how to maximize the role of information technology in developing and expanding library services and resources. Provocative, insightful, challenging, and far reaching in scope, this book should be required reading for everyone interested in, connected with, or responsible for the present and future of libraries—presidents, provosts, deans, faculty, librarians, and librarians-to-be. The best collection of essays on the subject I have encountered to date.

    Jay K. Lucker

    Director Emeritus, MIT Libraries, adjunct faculty, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College

  • Gateway to Knowledge goes beyond the 'hype' about digital libraries. These are thoughtful and timely papers by scholars, administrators, and librarians who consider the implications of the digital age for scholarship and teaching. This book is important for its holistic treatment of the academy as it comes to terms with digital technology.

    Deanna B. Marcum

    President, Council on Library Resources and the Commission on Preservation and Access, Washington D.C.

  • This exciting compendium clearly positions the gateway library at the center of the campus teaching and learning environment in all of its variant forms. Readers will be stimulated by the plethora of engaging ideas, and will be inspired to find the right 'fit' for their own institutions. An essential book for all academic libraries.

    Irene F. Rockman

    Editor, Reference Services Review

  • This book is about revolutionary change in the means of scholarly production, and the role of libraries in that revolution. Blessedly free of cyberbole, this book is instead about academic values, and how to secure them in the digital environment. If you care about why we should be building digital libraries then you need to read this book.

    Paul Evan Peters

    Coalition for Networked Information