As important as libraries have been in the past century, in the past decade, these trusted civic institution is at a juncture.

Knowledge is expanding exponentially. People are learning in new ways.  Technology is changing … everything; it is mobile, adaptive and cloud-based. Everyone has the means – although not always the skills – to be an author and an influencer. Library patrons and consumers’ needs and desires continue to escalate.

But libraries are not buffeted by these changes.  They are stepping up to these major trends by building on existing strengths and re-envisioning new roles for libraries and librarians.

  1. Libraries are focusing on experience instead of products and librarians are turning outward and engaging more deeply in community.
  2. Librarians are helping people navigate through information abundance to discern value and they are doubling down on efforts to turn libraries into maker-hubs supporting personal expression and content creation.
  3. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is bringing changes to education, creating new options – and requirements – for learners and unbundling education. These changes open opportunities to create new models for online and in-person learning in libraries.
  4. As more resources move to the cloud and as people expect to be connected with information nearly all the time, librarians are create new physical and virtual collaborations.

This week, in Gainesville and Jacksonville Florida, I shared the latest research from the Pew Research Center, Aspen Institute, University of Maryland and the 2015 trends effecting libraries and their communities.  Check out the slides here.

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