Additional research on the subject of academic libraries – Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians: Higher Education in 2025
The Taiga Forum developed a framework for the challenges that librarians will face in the future. The strategy developed by the group echo’s our research i.e. the changing status of library professionals and collaborative space partners.
- We recognize the work these professionals did to develop this framework.
- We appreciate that the library profession recognizes the challenges both in terms of new technology and services.
Our work focuses on the challenges outlined by the Taiga group. For example, as higher education and its’ organization flattens, radical cooperation will be possible. We have developed learning centers with IT Help-desks, Math labs and English tutoring capabilities. We have developed flexible learning spaces that reflect the different possible activities that can take place in the library.
In “In the Era of eBooks, What Is a Book Worth? (I),” a very important discussion has begun. Indeed, what is the value of an e-book?
At ACA, we are developing new library service concepts to support e-book technology. Our research shows that print titles are no longer required to take up the majority of library space. Furthermore, book technology continues to expand with digital portals and new learning styles. But, what is the e-books value? Does its value go down if there is no extra cost to duplicate the content? Do libraries matter in this debate?
In the next couple of years, publishers are going to have the difficult task at defining their marketplace. They will design and develop new product offering to create a viable cost system. In the end, this system is going to show that “library as place” matters as a promotion tool. Librarians should develop ways to market and support e-book growth.
According to conversations our team had at ALA midwinter with Overdrive, libraries are going to be a marketing opportunity for book publishers. Publishers are going to continue to provide new titles to libraries just to generate a community buzz. The library space will need to support the book world, because there will be less retail space for browsing and testing e-book products.
Librarians know patrons will experience e-books via Mobiles, Pads and Laptops in their library. From our perspective, its’ the space that matters…Indeed, the Library’s spaces are going to be the driving factor in e-book marketing efforts. This is an exciting time to be a librarian. It is an exciting time work in a library and generate new and different ways to interact with the new types of book technology.
Amazon will transform 11,000 library environments with Overdrive. On April 20, 2011, Amazon and Kindle e-reader will work with libraries to provide downloadable e-books. The Kindle library lending feature will debut later this year. Indeed, more than 11,000 US public libraries will have easy access to e-books. This will create new opportunities to transform the library into a learning environment.
In the future, we will see more spaces that provide plug-play technology. We will see libraries with more seats and less collection shelving. The library will strive to be a social space in this new environment. This will increase access to library content and generate communities of practice. Libraries will need space to integrated information literacy programs and offer scholarly aggregation tools.
Watch out – the e-book Overdrive / Kindle is the first out of the gate to transform the way we read at the library.