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Libraries of the Future

September 25, 2009

A good read was recently published in the New Review of Academic Librarianship entitled Academic Digital Libraries of the Future: An Environment Scan (free for a limited time)

While the focus is on academic libraries and their users, it certainly has applications for us, as these will soon be a majority of our users.  For example, did you know that satisfaction with searches goes down by 9% when a librarian helps them with their searches?

Further, their perception of the library is books and “old fashioned oak shelved rooms full of leather bound tomes.”  This is probably unsurprising even for those in the corporate world, as corporate libraries demonstrate increased usage in those centers without the word “library”.  (By the way, the evidence continues to suggest that “library” and “librarian” is a misnomer for what we do – hence SLA’s move to change its name)

The conclusion of this study, indicating five core areas of the library, is also one which should prompt our self-examination.  Generally, they are:

  • Building e-collections and driving digital research
  • Emphasizing the quality of what we deliver
  • Institutional knowledge management & dissemination
  • Training
  • An advisory role in policy & standards

Read the whole item here.

(thanks to Stephen Abram for pointing it out)

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