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D-Lib Magazine
May/June 2008

Volume 14 Number 5/6

ISSN 1082-9873

A New Website Devoted to Envisioning the Future of Libraries

What is the future of academic and research libraries? A recently launched web site from the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) entitled Libraries of the Future ( addresses that question and others concerning how the libraries of today may evolve to address the needs of future information users. With the site, JISC hopes to engender discussion through various means, including interactive Web 2.0 services, a blog, podcasts, an events calendar, various types of documents (such as slides from event presentations), and links to other, related sites.

The essential question is summarized as follows:

"In an information world in which Google apparently offers us everything, what place is there for the traditional, and even the digital, library? In a library environment which is increasingly moving to the delivery of online rather than print resources, what of the academic library's traditional place at the heart of campus life?"

The authors tip their hand by almost immediately stating that:

" thing is sure – libraries will continue to be essential to academic success and the future of education and research."
Only time will tell whether that is true or not, and whether this particular approach to focusing activity and discussion will or will not be successful, but D-Lib applauds the effort. Envisioning how libraries will be affected by the development of new technologies, and the changing needs and expectations of users, is more than an intellectual exercise. What libraries anticipate as necessary to provide users' future information needs affects how they choose to direct their resources today. The Libraries of the Future web site could be of significant value to library administrators making those resource allocation decisions.

Bonita Wilson


Copyright© 2008 Corporation for National Research Initiatives

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