ACRL 2009 Strategic Thinking Guide For Academic Librarians In The New Economy
ACRL says we have a choice of "reinvention or extinction." I think this is fundamentally correct. With limited resources libraries will have to modernize and introduce new technology in their working environment. Because of costs, this technology will most likely be open access technology where the cost of the computer programs are free. This is the most economical technology.
Things like blogs and instant messaging reference will become much more prevalent in libraries. There is little cost to create these things except for staff training. Libraries will be forced to cooperate with other agencies to create programs and services that cost little money.
A refocus on the original mission on the library as a center of self-education will become much more likely. The original Carnegie libraries were created for the purpose of building an educated workforce. Once again, there will be a shift to libraries focusing on job books, educational books, financial management, and self improvement. This will become even more prevalent with rising unemployment.
As more technology is introduced there will be a shift from answering peoples questions in reference to explaining to people how to use the different formats of material and general media literacy. This will include teaching a person how to select quality information and make sense of different devices. Books, computers, ereaders, and other things are all devices. The content will always be what is most important.
The library will cease being solely focused on books. Formats have already proliferated into books, periodicals, playaway audiobooks, dvds, scores, internet access, wireless internet access, databases, ebooks, music cds, large print books, and other formats. This is only going to get more complex with the advent of mobile devices like the Iphone, Kindle, and Sony Reader. The library will be one of the few places where all these devices are available in a single place.
http://www.thetechstatic.com/ (library computer book reviews)
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