Academic libraries foster key skills in next generation. Libraries are invaluable cornerstones of college and university life. By equipping the next generation of engineers, teachers, doctors with the training and research tools needed to compete in the global marketplace, library professionals make a vital contribution in today’s challenging economic times. Co-authored by Betsy Wilson, dean of university libraries, University of Washington, and Erika Linke, associate dean of Carnegie Mellon University Libraries. Special to The Seattle Times (March 5, 2009).