Library futures and trends

The first ever Horizon Report for libraries has been released by New Media Consortium (NMC). We present a summary of the key trends identified in the report.

25 August 2014

The report describes findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry worldwide. 

Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, giving library leaders and staff a valuable guide for strategic technology planning, particularly in academic and research libraries. 

Fast Trends  (1-2 Years)

  • Increasing Focus on Research Data Management for Publication
  • Prioritization of Mobile Content and Delivery

Mid-Range Trends (3-5 Years)

  • Evolving Nature of the Scholarly Record
  • Increasing Accessibility of Research Content

Long-Range Trends (5 Years and Beyond)

  • Continual Progress in Technology, Standards Infrastructure
  • Rise of New Forms of Multidisciplinary Research

Key Challenges For Academic and Research Libraries Moving Forward

A number of challenges are acknowledged for presenting barriers to the mainstream use of technology in academic and research libraries.

Solvable Challenges (Both Understand and Know How to Solve)

  • Embedding Academic and Research Libraries in the Curriculum
  • Rethinking the Roles and Skills of Librarians

Difficult Challenges (Well Understood But With Solutions that are Elusive)

  • Capturing and Archiving the Digital Outputs of Research as Collection Material
  • Competition from Alternative Avenues of Discovery

Wicked Challenges (Complex to Define, Much Less Address)

  • Embracing the Need for Radical Change
  • Maintaining Ongoing Integration, Interoperability, and Collaborative Projects

Important Developments For Academic and Research Libraries Entering Mainstream Use in One Year or Less

  • Electronic Publishing
  • Mobile Apps

Emerging in Next 2-3 Years (2nd Horizon)

  • Bibliometrics
  • Citation Technologies
  • Open Content

Emerging in Next 4-5 Years (3rd Horizon)

  • The Internet of Things
  • Semantic Web and Linked Data
The report describes findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry.
 
Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, giving library leaders and staff a valuable guide for strategic technology planning.
Fast Trends  (1-2 Years)
Increasing Focus on Research Data Management for Publication
Prioritization of Mobile Content and Delivery
Mid-Range Trends (3-5 Years)
Evolving Nature of the Scholarly Record
Increasing Accessibility of Research Content
Long-Range Trends (5 Years and Beyond)
Continual Progress in Technology, Standards Infrastructure
Rise of New Forms of Multidisciplinary Research
Key Challenges For Academic and Research Libraries Moving Forward
A number of challenges are acknowledged for presenting barriers to the mainstream use of technology in academic and research libraries.
Solvable Challenges (Both Understand and Know How to Solve)
Embedding Academic and Research Libraries in the Curriculum
Rethinking the Roles and Skills of Librarians
Difficult Challenges (Well Understood But With Solutions that are Elusive)
Capturing and Archiving the Digital Outputs of Research as Collection Material
Competition from Alternative Avenues of Discovery
Wicked Challenges (Complex to Define, Much Less Address)
Embracing the Need for Radical Change
Maintaining Ongoing Integration, Interoperability, and Collaborative Projects
Important Developments For Academic and Research Libraries Entering Mainstream Use in One Year or Less
Electronic Publishing
Mobile Apps
Emerging in Next 2-3 Years (2nd Horizon)
Bibliometrics
Citation Technologies
Open Content
Emerging in Next 4-5 Years (3rd Horizon)
The Internet of Things
Semantic Web and Linked Data

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