academic libraries

6 growing trends taking over academic libraries

Horizon Report details short-and long-term technologies, trends that will impact academic libraries worldwide in the next 5 years.

Important Developments in Ed-Tech in Higher Ed
According to the report, due to the trends currently affecting academic libraries, the technologies that all libraries should take note of include:

(Short-Term, 1-2 years):

  • Big Data: Libraries are ideally situated to serve academia, government, and business as information collectors, curators, and analysts. In particular, says the report, “libraries can serve an integral function as collaborators and enable education institutions to make informed decisions that reflect and serve real learner needs.”
  • Digital Scholarship Technologies: Academic libraries are as focused on helping scholars understand new processes for research as they are in supporting the production of scholarly inquiry, requiring them to work with diverse workflows, tools, and content.
Copyright: 2017 NMC

(Mid-Term, 3-5 years):

  • Library Services Platforms: Library services platforms (LSP) represent a “new conceptual approach to library automation, meeting current needs for a cohesive system that is web-centric, provides comprehensive print and electronic resources management, and keeps pace with the operational needs of changing library environments,” highlights the report.
  • Online Identity: Online identity encompasses a wide array of contextual and technical identifiers that exist in an ontological taxonomy. According to the report, this development is “escalating in importance for libraries for two reasons: 1) online identity is part of the broader view of digital literacy, and 2) research outputs can be attributed to an author across the web to reveal their growing body of work, also crystalizing the content’s relationships to other scholarly research.”

(Long-Term, 5 or more years):

  • Artificial Intelligence: As academic and research libraries begin to uncover ways in which AI can improve patron services, research processes, and learner outcomes, there is a need to develop guidelines informed by research to ensure ethical use of student data.
  • The Internet of Things: Library leaders are discussing how libraries can benefit from IoT-enabled environmental monitoring capabilities of networked devices to optimize energy use and track objects like A/V resources and books.

(Next page: The challenges associated with the trends and technologies)