Dawn La Valle speaks at her session, “Which World? Using Far Fetched Scenarios to Map out the Future of Libraries” on January 29 at the 2023 LibLearnX Conference in New Orleans.

Thinking Ahead

January 29, 2023

These hypothetical questions may seem more sci-fi than reality, but they’re the kind of futuristic scenarios that Dawn La Valle says libraries should think about and prepare for. “The decisions we make today inform our future tomorrow,” said La Valle, director of the division of library development for Connecticut State Library (CSL) and a Certified … Continue reading Thinking Ahead

OCLC President and CEO Skip Prichard addresses the crowd at the 2019 Library Futures Conference in Phoenix October 2. (Photo: OCLC)

Libraries as Community Catalysts

October 4, 2019

On October 2, OCLC President and CEO Skip Prichard opened the day by outlining the five Cs that libraries need to catalyze their communities. Libraries contribute, developing unique offerings that help make them indispensable. Through those contributions, they forge connections. Catalysts create, introducing big changes and little shifts. They compete, constantly pushing themselves forward. And … Continue reading Libraries as Community Catalysts

Dewey Decibel Episode 13

Dewey Decibel Podcast: Into the Future

April 26, 2017

AL Associate Editor and host Phil Morehart talks with Miguel Figueroa, director of the American Library Association’s Center for the Future of Libraries, about the center’s work tracking trends important to the library world. Next, Phil talks with Kimber Fender, director of Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (Ohio), about the library’s move to … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: Into the Future

Annie Lewis (left), librarian at Multnomah County (Oreg.) Library, listens as Nancy Herrera, librarian at Contra Costa County (Calif.) Library, makes her presentation at the 2016 ALA Leadership Institute in Itasca, Illinois. The institute—developed and led by former ALA President Maureen Sullivan (2012–2013)—offers midcareer librarians the opportunity to take part in a four-day immersive leadership development program.

Leading to the Future

March 1, 2017

The goal, says former ALA President Maureen Sullivan, is to introduce theories, concepts, and practices for effective leadership and “help people develop self-awareness of their strengths and areas for development.” Sullivan, who developed and leads the institute with library consultant Kathryn Deiss, says the institute accomplishes this goal with a mixture of presentations, small group … Continue reading Leading to the Future

Library Cards

The Future of Library Cards

January 3, 2017

At many libraries, digital “cards”—which usually consist simply of numbers that patrons use to access digital items—have become standard. The Harris County (Tex.) Public Library (HCPL) introduced its version, the iKnow Digital Access Card, as a way to “reduce as many barriers as possible,” says Library Director Edward Melton. IKnow card holders can access the … Continue reading The Future of Library Cards

Keith Michael Fiels

Welcome to the Future—at Your Library

March 6, 2015

In other words, libraries need to be the community hub where people can come to see the new and ­exciting—to see the future. And by communities, I mean all the communities we serve as libraries: municipalities and counties, colleges and universities, elementary and secondary schools. Libraries were once the place where community members gathered to … Continue reading Welcome to the Future—at Your Library

The Future of MLS

February 26, 2015

State and local government workforces have faced significant reductions since 2009. In 2011 alone, state and local governments cut nearly 250,000 jobs. While some hiring has occurred lately, reductions have been significant and are unlikely to grow to pre-recession levels.  Securing a library job can be challenging. Compe­tition is fierce, and the skill sets of … Continue reading The Future of MLS

The School Librarian as Learning Alchemist

February 26, 2015

  At the same time, school librarians continue to serve their communities by linking children, young adults, and teachers with both the information they need and the skills to use it. We’ve identified three trends that we see as most affecting the role of the school librarian in the near future. Information on demand In … Continue reading The School Librarian as Learning Alchemist

Joan K. Lippincott

The Future for Teaching and Learning

February 26, 2015

What does the future hold for librarians’ participation in teaching and learning in colleges and universities? Many are already taking advantage of the opportunities pro­vided by the emergence of new technologies and faculty interest in giving students assignments that will engage them in their learning. I believe that the greatest oppor­tunities for librarians lie in … Continue reading The Future for Teaching and Learning

Trending Now

February 26, 2015

We’ve selected five trends from the collection to high­light. Visit the trend library to learn more about each and to see the expanding collection of trend information. Anonymity Long a hallmark of internet culture, anonymity is a selling feature for new mobile apps such as Whisper and Secret. Information shared via anonymous apps includes emo­tional … Continue reading Trending Now

Forecasting the Future Of the Libraries

Forecasting the Future of Libraries 2015

February 26, 2015

In 2013, the American Library Association (ALA) an­nounced the formation of a Center for the Future of Libraries. The project, initially supported by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), focuses much of its work on identifying emerging trends relevant to the libraries, the librarians, and the communi­ties they serve. Why … Continue reading Forecasting the Future of Libraries 2015