Technology is becoming more and more integrated in all facets of our existence, and it’s affecting how we manage libraries as well. Here are some of the more important ways it’s changing the future of libraries.
Growing Digital Resources
According to the NMC Horizon Report Summary 2017 Library Edition, “libraries (will be) adapting to accommodate new applications of technology for learning, research, and information”, with a focus on obtaining more and more digital resources. Academic libraries have had to be flexible and adaptive with new innovations in research and learning for quite some time now, but the report specifically considers new technological applications.
Innovations will lead to digital data management advancements, which will lead to more accurate citations and subject search results while enabling libraries to display and curate relevant resources more effectively.
Easier Content Access
New technologies will make it easier for users to access content, making it more relevant to them. Of course, librarians will play a role in this. They will need to develop new skills so they can implement the new technologies for research, learning, and information for users. This could lead to a greater focus on learning and development of students, changes within the subject matter of Library & Information courses, and opportunities for the professional development of librarians.
Changing Library Uses
Students are not relying on libraries as a source of information as much as they used to, but technology may change that. They expect to be able to study and work everywhere because the Internet is always accessible, and this has placed more demand on libraries, which are exploring new ways of accommodating these demands.
This is changing the concept of library spaces, among other things. Institutional leaders are taking measures to alter the design of library spaces to accommodate the increasing number of face-to-face interactions taking place there. The architecture of libraries is altering markedly as a result. Libraries are implementing new and innovative technology that enables spaces for active learning, virtual meeting spaces, media productions, and other areas conducive to practical and collaborative work.
For some institutions, this means working with spaces that already exist, while others are choosing to overhaul their space completely.
Paperless Reading Areas?
In 10 or 15 years from now, technological innovations could well bring about revolutionary changes such as paperless reading areas, robotic assistants, and touchscreen information portals.
Libraries are adapting to the increasingly digital learning environment and the trends are truly riveting, but as with everything else, the exact course of development, and the future of libraries, are not 100% clear.