Friday, March 20, 2015

Forecasting the Future of Libraries 2015

Forecasting the Future of Libraries 2015. . American Libraries. February 26, 2015. 
While it’s nearly impossible to accurately predict the future, we can identify trends that can be key in understanding what the future might bring. It is important for libraries to spot trends and integrate them into their programs and services in order to remain useful and relevant. An article “Trending Now,” lists 5 trends that are worth looking at:
  1. Anonymity: it may help build community and is an increasingly important part of web interactions.
  2. Collective impact: organizations are adopting common agendas to address issues in the community. Librarians could become highly valued partners in collective-impact responses
  3. Fast casual: establishements incorporate customized services and products, and also inte­grate technology, with customer loyalty apps, online or mobile ordering, and mobile payments. Fast casual has advanced the growth of living-room-like flexible spaces (multiple and varied seating arrangements, easy-to-find power outlets) that accommodate social and business needs, and are tech­nologically savvy.
  4. Resilience: Resilience includes preparation for and rapid recovery from physical, social, and economic di­sasters, including natural disasters, terrorist at­tacks, or economic collapse.
  5. Robots: libraries have seen robots and robotics as a next wave for technology access and training, even lending robots to help users experience what might soon be a regular part of their futures. [They could also be places to learn more about technology.]
The trend library is designed to provide the library community with a centralized and regularly updated source for trends—including how they are developing; why they matter for libraries; and links to the reports, articles, and resources that can further explain their significance. As a collection, it will grow to include changes and trends across society, technology, education, the environment, politics, the economy, and demographics.  Makerspaces are playing an increasingly important role in libraries.

Another article “The Future, Today”addresses similar concepts:
  • Digital downloads, ebooks, personal content, and live programming together with books, periodicals, microfilm, audio, and video in today’s libraries. The library of the future will  support and en­hance navigation and exchange of these new forms of information. Library services must be delivered in ways that are digitally based or conveniently located in public places to help users with their busy schedules
  • Collections are being carefully consid­ered so as not to occupy too much square footage, leaving room for tech and social spaces, and a center for multiple activi­ties.  
  • Library staff in the future will be organized on the floor to be more effec­tive ‘information guides’ to help patrons.
  • There will be more flex­ible spaces for evolving services and forms of information offering.  
  • Libraries are no longer single-purpose repositories of books dedicated to quiet study. They have become dynamic hubs in various ways for the community of users

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