Library Planning Research

Reflecting on Libraries, Sustainability and the Horizon Report

Change Education

According to the 2022 Educause Horizon Report, the changes that are taking place in higher education will allow it to better align with the needs of the workforce and professional industries. The traditional models of degree attainment, such as four-year and graduate programs, are being replaced with more practical, flexible, and lifelong models of learning. How do libraries support lifelong learning models?

Social Centers

Libraries focusing on developing their social networks make their services more accessible. The ability of libraries to adapt to changing circumstances and continue to serve the needs of their communities, even in the face of adversity, requires a plan. Libraries that leverage technology and new approaches to collaboration are becoming more dynamic and effective organizations that can better support the educational goals of their community.

Libraries Support New Models

Micro credentialing and online/hybrid education are key tools for enabling these new models of education and public libraries have a role to play. Libraries are social networks. They can be more personalized providing deep information resources that allow students to access education. Libraries enable users to pursue their education in a way that fits their individual needs and goals. This shift towards more flexible and personalized library service models is driven by the changing technology that is mobile and in the cloud. Libraries need to keep up with rapidly advancing technologies, engage and preserve their collections for future use.


There has been a flurry of talk abut libraries and sustainability. We believe it should be part of your library’s decision-making. For example, the Sustainable Libraries Initiative has a workbook to help you think about eco-friendly facilities. As a result, librarians are being trained on sustainability. This is a model community of practice, developed by librarians, that can help libraries build goals and understand impact of various services.

Sustainable Library Services

This shift towards sustainable-focused library service practices reflects growing awareness of the impact of costs vs revenue. We believe that we all need to take action to protect the planet and that there are strategies to make the libraries more sustainable financially as well. Institutions are recognizing that their actions have the potential to make a significant impact on the bottom line. They are already taking steps to align their library with sustainable practices, including financial modeling, fundraising and cost/revenue analysis.

Horizon Report

Reflecting on the 2022 Educause Horizon Report, the following strategies: social, technological, economic, and environmental issues are affecting education and library planning.


Hybrid and Online Learning is the integration of both traditional in-person and digital learning into education.
Skills-Based Learning is the shift towards education that prioritizes the development of practical skills and competencies.
Remote Work is working from home or remote locations, which is affecting work practices and the economy.


Learning Analytics is a part of our research. We use data and analytics to improve student outcomes by helping institutions make informed decisions about their library.
Re-defining Library Space Modalities helps libraries become more effective. The changing nature of community space, and learning space in a digital world is an issue. The library needs to adapt to new accessible technologies and best practices.


Cost and Value of College Degrees and the rising cost of higher education is critical. Library programming enables the institution to access the value and return on investment of library services.
Digital Economy is important to libraries. Digital technologies and the internet are driving library collection growth and innovation.
Financial Deficits financial challenges facing governments, institutions, and individuals, which are affecting many aspects of the effectiveness of the library.


Physical Campus Structures is need to maintain and modernize physical learning spaces to support libraries and learning centers.
Increase in Sustainable Development Goals is of growing importance in terms of sustainability and the need to promote environmentally responsible practices.
Library Planning and Programming – Contact Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD