October 4, 2015

New Membership Report from OCLC Says Education, Learning and Libraries May Be Reaching a “Tipping Point”

The report was published today by OCLC.

A video featuring a conversation between OCLC CEO Skip Prichard and Cathy De Rosa, OCLC Vice President for the Americas and Global Vice President of Marketing, was also released today and embedded below.


At a Tipping Point: Education, Learning and Libraries


The study aims to provide librarians with important information about the trends and triggers that are reshaping education—and the opportunities and challenges this shift brings to libraries.

The report explores:

  • Habits and perceptions of online learners
  • Expectations for the future of online learning
  • Top-of-mind perceptions of a college education
  • Factors influencing the college choice
  • Library use by online learners—on campus and online
  • MOOCs—a massively interesting case study on the future of education
  • The library brand
  • Implications and opportunities for academic and public libraries

Comments From OCLC’s Cathy De Rosa:

“OCLC market research has tracked the perceptions of information consumers for more than a decade. Much has changed in the environment over that time. We have seen Google change search habits and Amazon change buying habits. We are now watching online learning services and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) change the landscape and expectations for education and learning,” said Cathy De Rosa, OCLC Vice President for the Americas and Global Vice President of Marketing, and principal contributor to OCLC Membership Reports.

“The pressure is mounting on traditional models of learning. We see evidence in the research that we may be reaching a tipping point in how consumers think about and would like to manage their education,” said Ms. De Rosa. “Students and parents are eager for more convenience and more options in how they learn—they favor convenience over structure, self-service over predefined options. Students of all ages are having success with online learning and, like most services that have moved onto the Web, consumers expect these new services to continue to improve in quality and increase in popularity.”

Changes to education and online learning have implications and opportunities for libraries. “The same digital forces reshaping education will reshape library users’ expectations, on our campuses and across our communities,” said Ms. De Rosa.

Direct to Full Text Report (118 pages; PDF)

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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