May 27, 2022

New Article: “Making Sense of the Future of Libraries”

The following article appears in the latest issue of IFLA Journal.


Making Sense of the Future of Libraries


Dan Dorner
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Jennifer Campbell-Meier
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Iva Seto
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand


IFLA Journal
Vol. 43, No. 4
December 2017


We examined five major projects conducted by library associations and related organizations between 2011 and 2016 that focused on the future of libraries and/or librarianship. We employed a sensemaking perspective as the foundation for our research. Through a sensemaking perspective, meaning is intersubjectively cocreated. Threats to identity have created triggers for organizations to reexamine the roles of libraries in their communities. This reexamination of the roles of libraries within the community creates or develops a shared context which impacts both professional identity and advocacy efforts. While it is not clear the exact shape and scope of this crisis in the library profession, it is ‘real’ in that it has been meaningfully named, interpreted and enacted. The issue has been discussed coherently and cohesively in the international library community. It is clear that there is concern, internationally, for the future of librarianship.

Direct to Full Text Article (14 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.