Posted by: mhdiaz | June 22, 2010

Fast Forward to the Future

Educause has released an article in College and Research Library News with its 2010 Top Trends in Academic Libraries.   Here were the key points that they made which have now been posted on their site.

  • Academic library collection growth is driven by patron demand and will include new resource types.
  • Budget challenges will continue and libraries will evolve as a result.
  • Changes in higher education will require that librarians possess diverse skill sets.
  • Demands for accountability and assessment will increase.
  • Digitization of unique library collections will increase and require a larger share of resources.
  • Explosive growth of mobile devices and applications will drive new services.
  • Increased collaboration will expand the role of the library within the institution and beyond.
  • Libraries will continue to lead efforts to develop scholarly communication and intellectual property services.
  • Technology will continue to change services and required skills.
  • The definition of the library will change as physical space is repurposed and virtual space expands.

    I think that the last trend from Educause is one of the most interesting.  I continue to hear more and more that libraries are reorienting their use of space from print reference, current and archival periodicals and the like, to create new, inviting spaces for learning, research and collaboration. As libraries seek to make this space more appealing for their users, they also are beginning to think about how they can brand the experience of their users, not just online but offline too.  At a recent SLA Academic Roundtable session, I was amazed to see how many libraries were doing major work to recommission their library space and enhance the experience of their onsite users.     

    So what are the trends will help to shape the more distant future of academic libraries?  An interesting report also was just made available from ACRL.  This report speculates on new paradigms that will reshape academic libraries in 2025 — yes, 2025!  It presents 26 possible scenarios and their potential impacts on academic libraries.  

    Is there anything that you can think of that is not captured by all of these great minds? Take a look at these reports and then gaze into your own crystal ball…and let me know what you think might still be missing.


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