Today's research librarian exists within an environment of rapid and unrelenting change. A wide and increasing variety of technological advances are transforming the communication, organization, and storage of information -- and the librarian's traditional function. This work represents the first analytical discussion of the functional role of the research librarian, as well as the relationship between the research librarian, the scholar, and the record of scholarship. Key points include an in-depth, analytical treatment of the future nature of the research library and the future role of the research librarian; fresh appraisals of research library cooperation and the application of technology to research libraries; and a new look at preservation alternatives within the context of the research library's future. Eldred Smith identifies the essential contribution that the research librarian makes to the scholarly process, as well as how and why the librarian has, throughout history, been unable to fulfill the role completely. He explores the scholar's information-seeking practices, and identifies the reasons why these are at odds with the information-organization practices of librarians. Also probed is the conflict that the librarian feels between preservation and the use of research library collections, discussing how this conflict has influenced research library policy and practice. Smith discusses the new electronic information technology as both a threat to the continuation of the research librarian's historical role and as an opportunity to fulfill that role more completely than in the past. Also discussed are the steps that the research librarian needs to take in order to use the newtechnologies to advantage, including a major redirection of collection preservation activities. The book concludes with a discussion of the main features of the future research library, which provide for a strengthened relationship between the librarian and the scholar, as well as a more productive and substantive contribution by the research librarian to the scholarly process. Research librarians, academic librarians, academic administrators, and scholarly publishers will find a wealth of information in the pages of this book. It will also serve as an ideal adjunct in any course dealing with the future of libraries and librarianship.