I’ve just re-read the top 10 trends for academic libraries identified by the ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee and published in: June 2012 College & Research Libraries News vol. 73 no. 6 311-320.
This document is the framework for the just released 2013 ACRL Environmental Scan. It is interesting to compare these two to see how the focus is changing.
For those who missed it or don’t have access to the archives of ACRL News, I’ve summarized below the top trends from the report (Please note that these top trends are not listed in order of importance but alphabetically):
Academic libraries must prove the value they provide to the academic enterprise. Librarians must be able to convert the general feelings of goodwill towards the library to effective communication to all stakeholders that clearly articulate its value to the academic community.
Data curation challenges are increasing as standards for all types of data continue to evolve; more repositories, many of them cloud-based, has to emerge; librarians and other information workers need to collaborate with their research communities to facilitate this process.
As digital collections mature, concerns grow about the general lack of long-term planning for their preservation. Local digital collections are at risk when the individual institution lacks a comprehensive preservation plan.
Higher education institutions are entering a period of flux, and potentially even turmoil. Trends to watch for are the rise of online instruction and degree programs, globalization, and an increased skepticism of the “return on investment” in a college degree.
Technology continues to drive much of the futuristic thinking within academic libraries. The key trends driving educational technology are equally applicable to academic libraries: people’s desire for information and access to social media and networks anytime/anywhere; acceptance and adoption of cloud-based technologies; more value placed on collaboration; ; and a new emphasis on challenge-based and active learning.
Mobile devices are changing the way information is delivered and accessed. An increasing number of libraries provide services and content delivery to mobile devices.
Patron driven e-book acquisition
Patron-Driven Acquisition (PDA) of e-books is poised to become the norm. For this to occur, licensing options and models for library lending of e-books must become more sustainable. PDA is an inevitable trend for libraries under pressure to prove that their expenditures are in line with their value.
New scholarly communication and publishing models are developing at an ever-faster pace, requiring libraries to be actively involved or be left behind.
Academic libraries must develop the staff needed to meet new challenges through creative approaches to hiring new personnel and deploying or retraining existing staff.
User behaviors and expectations
Convenience affects all aspects of information seeking—the selection, accessibility, and use of sources. Libraries usually are not the first source for finding information. When queried, respondents describe the library as “hard to use,” “the last resort,” and “inconvenient.”
The ACRL asks the community for feedback and provides a venue to get involved and contribute to the ongoing discussion on the trends in academic libraries by participating in OnPoint Discussion at: www.ala.org/acrl/conferences/onpoint.