Trends, challenges and developments in technologies that will influence the future of libraries

posted 28 Sep 2015, 08:09 by Jason Zagami   [ updated 28 Sep 2015, 08:20 ]
Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Trends, challenges and developments in technologies that will influence the future of libraries

Keynote Presentation by Dr Jason Zagami to the ASLA conference on 29 September 2015 at Brisbane, Queensland.

Zagami, J. (2015, September) Trends, challenges and developments in technologies that will influence the future of libraries. Keynote presentation presented to ASLA conference, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

In 2014, a diverse group of 50 leading academics, librarians and knowledge professionals from around the world contributed to the development of the New Media Consortium Horizon Report, Library Edition. This forecast, developed using a modified Delphi research process, examined the wide range of trends, challenges, and emerging technologies for their possible impact on libraries.

That it was confirmed that technology continues to strongly influence libraries will be of no surprise to anyone, but what is of greater interest are the predictions of which technological trends, challenges and technologies are likely to be the most significant in their influence, and the timeframes in which librarians need to consider such developments.

The identified trends accelerating technology adoption by libraries included: an increasing focus on research data management, prioritisation of mobile content and delivery, the evolving nature of the scholarly record, increasingly accessible research content, the continual progress in technology, standards, and infrastructure, and the rise of new forms of multidisciplinary research.

These trends bring with them challenges to the adoption of such technologies by libraries: the embedding of library use in the curriculum, rethinking the roles and skills of librarians, capturing and archiving the digital outputs of research as collection material, competition from alternative avenues of discovery, embracing the need for radical change, and maintaining ongoing integration, interoperability, and collaboration with other schools and institutions.

Within such a context, there have been important developments identified in technologies for libraries, in the next year, electronic publishing and mobile apps are predicted to play a significant role. Over the following two to three years, bibliometrics and citation technologies, along with Open Content initiatives, will increasingly play a role. In the following four to five years, it is predicted that The Internet of Things, the Semantic Web and Linked Data, will increasingly influence how libraries operate.

These forecasts and timelines relate directly to academic and research libraries, and while school and community libraries have their own unique challenges and trends, they also share many of the same with academic and research libraries. The examination of these predictions can help all librarians make better-informed decisions through consideration of the forces and technologies shaping the nature of all libraries.