The PEW Institute has just released a very encouraging report on the library habits and expectations of the 18-25 years old group. Some may find it useful for strategic planning and discussions with stakeholders. You can access the summary here and the full report in PDF format from the menu on the left hand side.
Tag Archives: future
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):
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.
The French newspaper Le Monde has just published a public statement, signed by sixty members of the academic community (presidents of universities, librarians, journals publishers and researchers) under the title “Who is afraid of open access ?” (see the original paper here :
http://www.lemonde.fr/sciences/article/2013/03/15/qui-a-peur-de-l-open-acces_1848930_1650684.html). It is now available in English : http://iloveopenaccess.org/arguments-for-open-access/
More than 1600 people already signed this statement, calling for open
access as fast as possible and asking for HSS taking leadership in this
direction. You can sign it : http://iloveopenaccess.org/?page_id=329
I am soaking Marsahall McLuhan once again…. This great visionary and humanist to the core discerned that the modern industrial world derives its unity from technological imperatives rather than from nature or human instincts. He argued back in the sixties that in the approaching electronic world, media and methods will replace philosophical inquiry into both natural and mechanical worlds; and that the media of communication will replace the means of production. As a result, humans will move from the age of industry where the means dominated to the age of information where the media dominate to the point that humans may loose control over them. Here is how he puts it incisively:
The medium, or process, of our time – electric technology – is reshaping and restructuring patterns of social interdependence and every aspect of our personal life. It is forcing us to reconsider and re-evaluate practically every thought, every action, and every institution formerly taken for granted. Everything is changing – you, your family, your neighbourhood, your education, your job, your government, your relation to “the others”. And they are changing dramatically. […] Radical changes in identity, happening suddenly and in very brief intervals of time, have proved more deadly and destructive to human values than wars fought with hardware weapons.”
-Marshall McLuchan and Quentin Fiore, The Medium Is the Message (1967)
…. and here is the Master lecturing….
The (British) Guardian has just published an interesting investigation into the several attempts to control the Internet – see it at:
To me this is investigation is the perfect case for the libraries as it shows that the decentralized design of the Internet can be tamed by the commercial powers of the few. This indicates clearly that that the Internet even at this early stage is not a safe storage for all the human knowledge, as many enthusiasts claim, but that there is a vital need to have the records of our culture stored in various formats in multiple decentralized locations. If we fail to convince now the people around us that such places that are publicly funded and provide free access to knowledge and information are still necessary, the Fahrenheit 451 scenario is not too far removed from reality. Indeed, it is a huge professional responsibility on all of us to prove through our work and inventiveness that libraries are the institutions that can fulfill this mission.
“The Empire will vanish, and all its good with it. Its accumulated knowledge will decay and the order it has imposed will vanish. A Second Empire will rise, but between it and our civilization will be one thousand generations of suffering humanity. We must fight that. – How do you propose to do this? – By saving the knowledge of the race… my thirty thousand men with their wives and children are devoting themselves to the preparation of an Encyclopedia Galactica. They will not complete it in their lifetimes. I will not even live to see it fairly begun. But by the time the Empire falls, it will be complete and copies will be exist in every major library in the Galaxy.”
Which brings a lot of questions to my mind… Would librarians facilitate this process? And what is the knowledge of the race, what’s its nature and where does knowledge lie? Is it in books that take a few years from the inception of an idea to print and distribution, or the journal articles that get published much quicker? Or is this type of knowledge already dead by the time it gets published and the only live and current knowledge really exists in our heads and we talk and think it minute by minute, second by second. How to capture this knowledge and record it? Give the free tools to thirty thousand men with their wives and children who will devote themselves to the preparation of an Encyclopedia Galactica….