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This paper traces the roots of higher education from Ancient Greece to the first universities in European countries where the idea of upper education became centered on the interactive dialogue between a teacher and student. The report discusses the role of the university library today in an age of ever-developing technologies and ever-increasing information sources. The paper suggests that the classic mission and function of libraries--to provide students and staff with information they need--has not changed, but the scope and techniques to fulfill this function have broadened. Discussion then moves to the concept of flexible delivery of services; changing roles of library staff; and the value of librarians in working in course development teams. The new skill base that will be needed by the staff of the digital library is then described, and characteristics of the information professional of the 21st century (based on a pre-conference seminary of the 1997 European Business Information Conference) are summarized. (AEF)

Descriptors: Academic Libraries, Change, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, History, Information Sources, Information Technology, Librarians, Library Development, Library Personnel, Library Role, Library Services, Technological Advancement

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Autor: Skiadas, C. H.


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