In the transition from the print to the electronic world, technology has descended upon the library like a tsunami. Librarians have labored long and hard to create and be steered by a clear sense of mission in this new age, rather than simply being swept along by the technological wave. There have been enormous challenges in understanding the potential of the new technology and how to harness it to a needs-driven environment. Fundamental questions have even been raised about the very value of traditional libraries in this new environment, and librarians continue to wrestle with what their future role in the scientific and academic communities will be.
As a member of these communities Elsevier is equally affected. This highly dynamic environment presents both great challenges and great opportunities. In the course of the last few years we have seen production, pricing and packaging models from the print journal world change out of all recognition to accommodate the needs of the new digital environment. We have seen the emergence of e-publishing environments such as PUBMED, JSTOR, and most recently the Open Access movement. This is a future in which Elsevier must also continue to change if it is to be relevant to the communities that it will serve.
Although these are challenging times, the future is by no means bleak. Thought leaders and innovators have emerged who are rapidly advancing our understanding of the new nature of libraries and the role of technology in their future. It has been a personal pleasure and a privilege to have worked with many of them in the Strategic Partners Program.
In this issue of Library Connect you will find a sampling of some of the progressive views currently being advanced within the library community. We hear from librarians on how they are preparing their libraries for the future, from an information science professor on her thoughts about the future of the profession, from the University of Rochester on their vision of the future and from Endeavor on their linking technologies. I sincerely trust you enjoy reading these perspectives as much as I have.
Geoff Adams, Director, IT Solutions, Elsevier, New York