Publication Title

Twenty-First-Century Access Services: On the Front Line of Academic Librarianship, Second Edition

Publication Date

Spring 2023

Document Type

Book Chapter

First and Last Page



Emerging technologies and alternative uses of space has increased opportunities for access services departments to provide bet- ter resources and services to their users. Libraries who have recognized how technology has become entwined in people’s lives have proven more successful in meeting their patrons’ digital needs. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on access services departments demonstrated that those who embraced forward thinking were better positioned to address the needs required of a physical distancing environment. Moving forward, an access services unit that is agile and recognizes the evolving nature of technology and spaces will be better positioned to meet the next unforeseen challenge. Empowering employees to make decisions, promoting experimentation, and being willing to try new ideas as part of a culture that sees failure as a learning opportunity are all keys to staff agility.