The purpose of this paper is to present an organized view of current trends affecting academic libraries that one research library developed to encourage new thinking; this view could assist others seeking to help their organizations think differently about the future of information access and management.
One strategy for identifying important trends using a small number of key resources is highlighted in the paper. A snapshot of the many trends affecting academic libraries is categorized to show interrelationships and to provide specific examples along with a general overview. Included is a brief description of how the snapshot was used by one library. Implications for the future and perspectives on the value of cultivating new thinking are presented in the conclusion.
The paper finds that rapid and far‐reaching change is challenging libraries to think very differently, to act much more quickly, and to set trends rather than merely react to them. Assessing trends can help libraries foster organizational change through exposure to new ideas and see where new partnerships and areas of expertise must be developed to meet new needs.
The snapshot became the basis for two library‐wide events at Ohio State that better positioned attendees to inform and to accommodate decisions about service priorities, personnel and budget requests.
This paper organizes many diverse trends into a general overview to make inter‐relationships and implications more understandable to those unlikely to develop such a view on their own – for example: university personnel outside the library, middle managers and those they supervise within the library, students of library and information management.
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