Looking Back, Looking Ahead
with Jaeger, Bertot and Hines
As we approach the end of 2015, we asked our Library book series editors Paul T. Jaeger, John Carlo Bertot and Samantha Hines to summarize the biggest changes in Librarianship this year and what they predict to be the main changes during 2016.
The Advances in Librarianship Series publishes the current best practices and innovative ideas in a rapidly changing information world which impact libraries as a social institution. Through in-depth chapters in all areas of library and information science and in all types of settings in which information is developed, accessed, preserved, and delivered, the series provides solutions that can be applied to make improvements in the field.
The series editors are Paul T. Jaeger and John Carlo Bertot, University of Maryland. Dr. Jaeger's research focuses on the ways in which law and public policy shape information behavior, particularly for underserved populations. He is the author of more than one hundred and fifty journal articles and book chapters, as well as twelve books, and is Editor of Library Quarterly. John Carlo Bertot's research spans information and telecommunications policy, e-government, government agency technology planning and evaluation, and library planning and evaluation.
Read their article, 'Libraries, Inclusion, and the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act', as featured in American Libraries.
The biggest changes of 2015 are:
- The increased move towards impact measures of library services has led to more emphasis on value demonstration, assessment, and quantification of library performance.
- The building of digital platforms meaning more emphasis on creating, digitizing, managing, sharing, and leveraging digital assets and digital content infrastructures - and changing the notion of collection development.
- Libraries have become platforms for making, creating, and designing with 3D printing and other tools, partnerships, and leveraging the “crowd” in their communities. Libraries are now more involved in facilitation of STEM education and learning, as well as economic development.
Our predicted changes for 2016 are:
- Emphasis on sustainable development.
Under the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, libraries will increasingly focus on how they can contribute to their community's challenges, inclusion, and access to opportunity. There will be a need to show connections between library services and movement towards achieving these goals.
- Emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship.
Whether supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in research or teaching on campuses in schools, or supporting the creation of start-ups in communities, libraries are increasingly a key part of the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. This will require creative and dynamic leadership with staff who are social innovators and change agents.
- Open access.
The "open" culture is taking hold - whether for journals, textbooks, data, or other domains - and this is changing the nature of collections, resources, and how libraries work with their publishing, scholarship, user, and other communities to ensure access to quality, valued, and valuable content.
Advances in Library Administration and Organization brings to light excellent scholarship that strengthens and reinforces the base of knowledge library administrators have on hand. This book series publishes longer, quality research studies, with particular focus on how libraries have been and should be managed. It is of interest to working library managers and scholars add a couple of extra words.
Series editor Samantha Schmehl Hines received her MS in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign in 2003 and is currently Head Librarian for the Missoula College campus library of The University of Montana. She writes and presents widely on issues of online library services, information literacy instruction, and library middle management, and is the author of Productivity for Librarians (2010, Chandos), and Revolutionizing the Development of Library and Information Science Professionals (2014, IGI-Global).
Read her blog article highlighting the current issue, ‘Staffing for the Future'.
The biggest changes of 2015 are:
- The continued budget cuts. These make it hard for us to keep doing what we do in the way we've done it.
- Continued concerns about library relevance. Our need to justify why we are important takes time and energy, and can be complicated to demonstrate.
- Changing focus for libraries from 'book repository' to 'community center'. This requires a change in mind set for our users and ourselves.
My predicted changes for 2016 are:
- Staffing models will change to become leaner and focus less on professional librarians.
- Physical space will become less important for traditional services (bookshelves) but more valued for what it contributes to a community.
- Flexible work options will be more in demand, requiring us to rethink staffing models.