The report focuses on what’s ahead for academic and research libraries. Of course, this doesn’t mean that librarians who work in other types of libraries shouldn’t take a look at it.
The report is a collaboration between NMC and:
- University of Applied Sciences (HTW), Chur
- German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB) Hannover
- ETH-Bibliothek Zurich
Summary (via NMC)
The report describes findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry.
Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, giving library leaders and staff a valuable guide for strategic technology planning.
Fast Trends (1-2 Years)
- Increasing Focus on Research Data Management for Publication
- Prioritization of Mobile Content and Delivery
Mid-Range Trends (3-5 Years)
- Evolving Nature of the Scholarly Record
- Increasing Accessibility of Research Content
Long-Range Trends (5 Years and Beyond)
- Continual Progress in Technology, Standards Infrastructure
- Rise of New Forms of Multidisciplinary Research
Key Challenges For Academic and Research Libraries Moving Forward
A number of challenges are acknowledged for presenting barriers to the mainstream use of technology in academic and research libraries.
Solvable Challenges (Both Understand and Know How to Solve)
- Embedding Academic and Research Libraries in the Curriculum
- Rethinking the Roles and Skills of Librarians
Difficult Challenges (Well Understood But With Solutions that are Elusive)
- Capturing and Archiving the Digital Outputs of Research as Collection Material
- Competition from Alternative Avenues of Discovery
Wicked Challenges (Complex to Define, Much Less Address)
- Embracing the Need for Radical Change
- Maintaining Ongoing Integration, Interoperability, and Collaborative Projects
Important Developments For Academic and Research Libraries Entering Mainstream Use in One Year or Less
- Electronic Publishing
- Mobile Apps
Emerging in Next 2-3 Years (2nd Horizon)
- Citation Technologies
- Open Content
Emerging in Next 4-5 Years (3rd Horizon)
- The Internet of Things
- Semantic Web and Linked Data
Direct to Full Text Report (56 pages; PDF)
Quick Comment From Gary Price
1. I am very happy to read that “Competition from Alternative Avenues of Discovery” is mentioned in the report. I hope that other types of libraries, especially public, recognize that competition from a variety of sources and tools is still competition both in terms of actual use and awareness/mindshare.
2. “Open Content” is listed in the “Emerging in Next 2-3 Years (2nd Horizon)” section. I would like to see this concept expanded to include making better/more use of content found on the open web. This includes developing large specialty databases and searchable directories that the entire library community and others can benefit from. Some of what I’m talking about was in the early days of the web and it’s time that some or all of these concepts and projects reemerged. I often refer to this as “open web” collection development.