As technology continues to develop and gets more and more integrated with the community, it may be a good time to take a closer look at the future of an academic library. We are already witnessing voice-controlled assistants and smart appliances in this regard and they are just the two examples of how technology is making life easier for people. Technology is definitely going to affect how libraries will be managed in the future.
Use of Innovation
One of the expected changes in future libraries is innovation. In the near future, we will get libraries that will adapt to newer technology applications in the fields of research, learning, and information. It is not new for the academic libraries though as they have been flexible and adaptive with innovations in the field of research and learning for quite some time. However, a report published by NMC Library Edition references the possible inclusion of new applications in the fields of technology.
Use of Applications
Adapting to the new applications allows the various libraries to work across international borders and towards common goals. It also means that a library will be providing greater access to scholarly resources and material. These innovations can help the libraries to preserve their stuff more effectively and compile their collection online. This will improve the access of the researchers to the material more definitive.
Role of Library Professionals
The growing concentration on the easy access to digital resources is eventually going to affect the role of library professionals for sure. The librarians will have to learn new skills and be able to implement the new technology for their patrons. This will also lead to new learning and growth within the libraries. This shift in focus is taught in the various courses and the future librarians are expected to take forward their professional development.
Everyone admits that there is a shift in how students use the libraries these days. They rely less on the libraries and more on accessing the internet for learning. They are also expected to learn and work from everywhere and constant access to learning material ensures collaborative learning. This is placing more pressure on the library as they need to make a provision for accessing the internet. This is also a challenge for the institution leaders to design the library spaces to facilitate different kinds of interactions.
Therefore, we can see the library architecture changing significantly. Going forward we may see smaller libraries with new and innovative technology implementations that provide room for active learning spaces. Virtual meeting places, media productions and other areas related to collaborative learning are gaining insignificance. For many libraries, this means a total overhaul of the available space while others may look for less costly solutions that will work within the available space.
Paperless Working Areas
Within the next ten to twenty years from now, we will see libraries with totally paperless reading areas and having touchscreen information portals and robotic assistance as guides. The actual digital innovations suitable for the library remains to be seen.
One thing is certain and that is we are going to see a lot of changes in the space available for a library due to the advent of technology. These changes in the academic libraries will revolutionize the way these libraries are used. They are adapting to the world that is going increasingly digital and although we may explore various trends there is no guarantee to how this will evolve. Education Resource Partners has been working with the digital age libraries for many years and will be a great resource.
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