Top 10 Trends Affecting Academic Libraries

The ACRL Research, Planning and Review Committee, has recently released their list of the top 10 trends affecting academic libraries now and in the near future. This list was compiled from a literature review, supplemented by a survey of ACRL members in February 2010.  The complete article can be found here:

“2010 Top Ten Trends In Academic Libraries: A Review Of The Current Literature.” College & Research Libraries News June 2010, 71:286-292

(hopefully the link will work – if you’re off-campus you may need to log-in with your EZProxy credentials)

Here are excerpts from the list, in alphabetical order.  These probably won’t surprise anyone; certainly we are seeing increased activity in all of these areas here at Middlebury.• Academic library collection growth is driven by patron demand and will include new resource types.
• Budget challenges will continue and libraries will evolve as a result.
• Changes in higher education will require that librarians possess diverse skill sets. As technological changes continue to impact not only the way libraries are used but also the nature of collections, librarians need to broaden their portfolio of skills to provide services to users.
• Demands for accountability and assessment will increase.
• Digitization of unique library collections will increase and require a larger share of resources.
• Explosive growth of mobile devices and applications will drive new services.
• Increased collaboration will expand the role of the library within the institution and beyond. Collaboration efforts will continue to diversify: collaborating with faculty to integrate library resources into the curriculum and to seek out information literacy instruction, and as an embedded librarian; working with scholars to provide access to their data sets, project notes, papers, etc. in virtual research environments and digital repositories; collaborating with information technology experts to develop online tutorials and user-friendly interfaces to local digital collections; collaborating with student support services to provide integrated services to students; and collaborating with librarians at other institutions to improve open source software, share resources, purchase materials, and preserve collections.
• Libraries will continue to lead efforts to develop scholarly communication and intellectual property services. … Recent developments illustrate a trend toward proactive efforts to educate faculty and students about authors’ rights and open access publishing options and to recruit content for institutional repositories (IRs).
• Technology will continue to change services and required skills. Cloud computing, augmented and virtual reality, discovery tools, open content, open source software, and new social networking tools are some of the most important technological changes affecting academic libraries.
• The definition of the library will change as physical space is repurposed and virtual space expands. Most academic libraries provide access to a more resources than ever before. However, the number of physical items in many libraries is declining, as libraries withdraw journal runs to which they have permanent online archival access and/or move lesser-used materials to off-site or shared storage facilities, thus freeing up areas that are repurposed to provide space for individual student and collaborative work.

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