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End of libraries/renaissance in the “peer-to-peer sharing economy” revolution age? Librarians of the future educating for a sustainable world

Jose Rodolfo Hernandez-Carrion (Department of Applied Economics, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain)

Digital Library Perspectives

ISSN: 2059-5816

Article publication date: 12 April 2022

Issue publication date: 3 October 2022




Libraries face an uncertain situation in present times of the “digital revolution” while every single sector moved online. The purpose of this paper is to search and propose potential library actions as response to the challenge of the peer-to-peer (p2p) sharing platform revolution in business models, a revolution to gain efficiency and to protect the environment.


This research focused on integrating economics and library concepts based on a selective literature review and real-world interaction. The main concern is to connect library possibilities with the emergence of p2p digital platforms, which has enabled individuals to make use of underused inventory via fee-based sharing, as a way of obtaining, giving or sharing access to goods and services. The authors balance the existing proposals to achieve how librarians can help.


This paper defines key types of potential applications for platform business models in the sharing economy promoted by librarians and describes their characteristics for the renaissance of the “New libraries”. First, “educating” society to face critically the disruptive change in networks of culture and information. Second, “growing” as key reference institutions and community service centres integrating “external” skills. Third, “promoting” the disruptive economy by creation or participation in digital platforms. Fourth, “creating” cooperative markets through social-economic currencies.


This research was carried out with the objective of determining how librarians contribute to sustainable development. All four proposals to implement represent possibilities that derive from the sharing economy approach at different levels of implementation according to the degree of commitment that librarians require to translate into specific actions.



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 734855.


Hernandez-Carrion, J.R. (2022), "End of libraries/renaissance in the “peer-to-peer sharing economy” revolution age? Librarians of the future educating for a sustainable world", Digital Library Perspectives, Vol. 38 No. 4, pp. 542-552.



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