New learning environments for the 21st Century, a presentation by John Seely Brown, is worth a look [pdf]. There are lots of suggestive moments. He looks at the learning and the learning environments of network people. “Today’s digitally experienced students learn differently and have new vernaculars.” These include the languages of cinema, games and the web. “The structure of visual arguments.” “Blurring formal and informal learning becomes a way of life and identity construction.” “The remix culture all supported by social software.” “Hybrid models: passion-based particiation in niche communities of co-creation complemented by core curriculum or by the academy, itself.”
Libraries are not ends in themselves, but serve the interests of the organizations of which they are a part. As university emphasis varies around research, education and career poles, we can expect to see libraries evolve to support those emphases more strongly.