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Book part
Publication date: 16 June 2015

Jon E. Cawthorne

This research highlights the scenarios that might serve as a strategic vision to describe a future beyond the current library, one which both guides provosts and creates a…

Abstract

This research highlights the scenarios that might serve as a strategic vision to describe a future beyond the current library, one which both guides provosts and creates a map for the transformation of human resources and technology in the university research libraries. The scenarios offer managerial leaders an opportunity to envision new roles for librarians and staff which brings a much needed focus on the development of human resources as well as a thought-stream to understand decisions which effectively and systematically move the organization toward a strategic vision.

These scenarios also outline possible future directions research libraries could take by focusing on perspectives from library directors, provosts, and administrators for human resources. The four case study scenarios introduce potential future roles for librarians and highlight the unsustainability of the current scholarly communications model as well as uncertain factors related to the political, social, technical, and demographic issues facing campuses. Given the changes institutions face, scenarios allow directors to include more uncertainty when developing and articulating a vision. These scenarios may start a discussion, before a strategic planning process, to sharpen the evaluations and measures necessary to monitor achievements that define the value of the library.

Details

Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-910-3

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Philomena W. Mwaniki

The purpose of this paper is to conceptualize the future of academic libraries in the era of new user needs, new skills for staff and services offered. The literature…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to conceptualize the future of academic libraries in the era of new user needs, new skills for staff and services offered. The literature shows the evolution of new technologies and the implications they have on the staff, library services and new user needs. The discussions in this paper are surrounded by conceptualization of what the library products and services will be in future academic libraries. It also looks at future studies that explore opportunities for librarians to advance their professional role.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a literature-based conceptual paper that draws on a wide range of literature that hypothetically looks at the future roles of professional librarians, the collection, services and the evolution of technology on the new user needs.

Findings

The library today will give the basis for the future librarian’s role, the emerging user needs and impact of service delivery. Technological advances have also affected the establishment of library systems and services offered. The emerging future roles will generally depend on how advanced the libraries are in the region or country including Kenya.

Originality/value

This paper adds a flexible approach to the skills, services as a role of future librarians.

Details

Library Management, vol. 39 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2017

Loriene Roy and Elizabeth Kennedy Hallmark

The purpose of this paper is to involve readers in an exercise in conceptualizing the library workplace of the future and how to prepare librarians to be successful in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to involve readers in an exercise in conceptualizing the library workplace of the future and how to prepare librarians to be successful in these future scenarios.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper introduces a visualization exercise that invites readers to contemplate the likelihood and desirability of five scenarios for libraries of the future. Readers are also invited to create a new scenario. Readers then can reflect on the skills and aptitudes librarians would need to have or acquire in order to succeed in one of the scenarios. The method involves visualization, reflection, and self-assessment.

Findings

The authors have tested this exercise in in-service training with public, academic, and special librarians as well as with students in graduate library and information science courses. The end result is deep conversation, engagement, and sharing.

Research limitations/implications

The authors have observations on the effectiveness of this future exercise with students and practicing librarians but did not structure its use as a research project. In years of attending conferences and delivering over 600 conference presentations, the authors have yet to observe a similar future exercise being employed.

Practical implications

This exercise promotes reflection and discussion. It enables librarians to consider these scenarios on their own or in groups of varying sizes. It has application in understanding the complexity of futurism and how it might impact their future lives. And it emphases that individual librarians have some degree of independence in how they respond to change and, ultimately, a future much different from the present.

Social implications

Libraries are social institutions and their services reflect and respond to changes in society. Recent changes in governance around the world, warfare, the refugee crisis, and episodes of violence have contributed to tension. These are the times when librarians are called on more than ever to respond. Considering possible and improbable futures and one’s response to those futures are helpful in preparing one’s professional response in these difficult times.

Originality/value

This paper introduces an original model for discussing many possible futures for libraries and for librarians to consider their roles in those futures.

Details

Library Management, vol. 38 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2007

Farzana Shafique

The purpose of this paper is to review librarianship in different eras and throw light on its foreseeable future, as seen through the eyes of new librarians in Pakistan.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review librarianship in different eras and throw light on its foreseeable future, as seen through the eyes of new librarians in Pakistan.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a literature search, website visits, personal communication with related experts and interviews of future librarians. A purposive sample of 20 students of the final semester from the Department of Library and Information Science, University of the Punjab was chosen.

Findings

The electronic environment of the 21st century will demand a range of skills from librarians. Technology alone cannot help bring about the required changes. Attitudes, practices and policies need to change if libraries are to truly benefit themselves and their community of users by the application of new technologies.

Research limitations/implications

The research is mostly based on a small sample of future librarians” perception and researcher”s perception acquired through literature review and personal communication with experts.

Practical implications

The paper can be helpful for both working and future library professionals in planning their professional future tracks.

Originality/value

The paper provides an overview of librarianship in different eras and provides a thorough understanding of the foreseeable future as seen through the eyes of newly qualified Pakistani librarians.

Details

Library Review, vol. 56 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1999

Don Leslie

Vision 2008, a gathering of technology and library experts, was an unprecedented industry think‐tank developed by 3M Library Systems as a means by which the future of our…

Abstract

Vision 2008, a gathering of technology and library experts, was an unprecedented industry think‐tank developed by 3M Library Systems as a means by which the future of our libraries could be projected. Held in October 1998, it was the first of many fora 3M plans to host as it moves toward the year 2008. Under the direction of Northeast Consulting Resources, Inc and its Future Mapping® process, participants worked together to map out a best scenario for the libraries of the future. The information exchanged at Vision 2008 will help 3M continue to develop innovations to assist libraries in meeting their goals for the future.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 30 May 2018

Anna L. Neatrour, Elizabeth Callaway and Rebekah Cummings

This paper aims to determine if the digital humanities technique of topic modeling would reveal interesting patterns in a corpus of library-themed literature focused on…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to determine if the digital humanities technique of topic modeling would reveal interesting patterns in a corpus of library-themed literature focused on the future of libraries and pioneer a collaboration model in librarian-led digital humanities projects. By developing the project, librarians learned how to better support digital humanities by actually doing digital humanities, as well as gaining insight on the variety of approaches taken by researchers and commenters to the idea of the future of libraries.

Design/methodology/approach

The researchers collected a corpus of over 150 texts (articles, blog posts, book chapters, websites, etc.) that all addressed the future of the library. They ran several instances of latent Dirichlet allocation style topic modeling on the corpus using the programming language R. Once they produced a run in which the topics were cohesive and discrete, they produced word-clouds of the words associated with each topic, visualized topics through time and examined in detail the top five documents associated with each topic.

Findings

The research project provided an effective way for librarians to gain practical experience in digital humanities and develop a greater understanding of collaborative workflows in digital humanities. By examining a corpus of library-themed literature, the researchers gained new insight into how the profession grapples with the idea of the future and an appreciation for topic modeling as a form of literature review.

Originality/value

Topic modeling a future-themed corpus of library literature is a unique research project and provides a way to support collaboration between library faculty and researchers from outside the library.

Details

Digital Library Perspectives, vol. 34 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5816

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2007

Sohail Inayatullah

Innovation in information and communication technologies, combined with change in social and cultural attitudes, is raising questions about the future for libraries and

Abstract

Purpose

Innovation in information and communication technologies, combined with change in social and cultural attitudes, is raising questions about the future for libraries and librarians. This article seeks to examine alternative futures that were developed at a workshop organized by Brisbane City Council in June 2006.

Design/methodology/approach

Through the discussion of provocative discussion points, four possible futures emerged – “the lean, information machine”, “co‐location for community capacity building”, “knowledge navigator”, and “dinosaurs of the digital knowledge era”.

Findings

The library is undergoing a foundational shift in services, design and purpose. To survive and thrive in the future libraries will have to adapt to these changing conditions.

Originality/value

The article identifies some key strategic questions for libraries, particularly those provided by municipal authorities. These strategic questions remain unanswered but this article contributes to the debate.

Details

Foresight, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Book part
Publication date: 24 November 2015

William H. Weare

It has been widely projected in the library literature that a substantial number of librarians will retire in the near future leaving significant gaps in the workforce…

Abstract

It has been widely projected in the library literature that a substantial number of librarians will retire in the near future leaving significant gaps in the workforce, especially in library leadership. Many of those concerned with organizational development in libraries have promoted succession planning as an essential tool for addressing this much-anticipated wave of retirements. The purpose of this chapter is to argue that succession planning is the wrong approach for academic libraries. This chapter provides a review of the library literature on succession planning, as well as studies analyzing position announcements in librarianship which provide evidence as to the extent to which academic librarianship has changed in recent years. In a review of the library literature, the author found no sound explanation of why succession planning is an appropriate method for filling anticipated vacancies and no substantive evidence that succession planning programs in libraries are successful. Rather than filling anticipated vacancies with librarians prepared to fill specific positions by means of a succession planning program, the author recommends that academic library leaders should focus on the continual evaluation of current library needs and future library goals, and treat each vacancy as an opportunity to create a new position that will best satisfy the strategic goals of the library. In contrast to the nearly universal support for succession planning found in the library literature, this chapter offers a different point of view.

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Book part
Publication date: 10 December 1993

Norman D. Stevens

Abstract

Details

Advances in Librarianship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-12024-617-5

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Article
Publication date: 7 January 2014

Steve O'Connor

Leadership is always important but is especially important at times of rapid and even fundamental change. The purpose of this paper is to discuss and evidence the changes…

Abstract

Purpose

Leadership is always important but is especially important at times of rapid and even fundamental change. The purpose of this paper is to discuss and evidence the changes and decisions facing librarians in our world against the backdrop of international disrupted business models for libraries. The traditional mode of operation for libraries is changing dramatically in order to stay relevant and connected to our library users. This paper will aim to explore future leadership styles which will be required for special librarians. This will be set in the context of the NextGen Leadership program which this author established and conducted across Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai. The paper will also seek to draw on the author's experiences seeking new scenario futures for special libraries in Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper will explore future leadership styles which will be required for special librarians. This will be set in the context of the NextGen Leadership program which this author established and conducted across Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai. It will also draw on the author's experiences seeking new scenario futures for special libraries in Australia.

Findings

The evaluation of the Next Gen Leadership program is reviewed in this paper.

Research limitations/implications

The implications are that librarians need programs such as Next Gen in order to be able to test new ways of adopting management behaviours. These new ways of operating can be tested through programs such as Next Gen which operate over a lengthy period of time.

Practical implications

It is crucial that existing managers of academic libraries establish these leadership programs into the future as a means of ensuring good succession planning.

Originality/value

This is a genuinely original program spanning three countries/cities; Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai. The opportunity for participants in this course to meet, inter-mingle and network into the future with similar colleagues is unique. The opportunities to test new modes of management in such a course, remote from the work environment, are of value to the management styles of each individual into the future.

Details

Library Management, vol. 35 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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