It’s no secret that libraries are facing some serious challenges in the age of instantaneous digital information. For ages, libraries have been at the center of college campuses. And although they are still home to enormous amounts of information and exceptional resources, academic libraries will need to evolve if they want to hold the attention of the generation of digital natives. In order to assess how to move forward, it’s necessary to understand the mission of libraries. They are, after all, about more than just books:
A library is a collection of resources in a variety of formats that is (1) organized by information professionals or other experts who (2) provide convenient physical, digital, bibliographic, or intellectual access and (3) offer targeted services and programs (4) with the mission of educating, informing, or entertaining a variety of audiences (5) and the goal of stimulating individual learning and advancing society as a whole.
Read What is a library? on American Libraries.
Libraries are centers of knowledge. Do books provide great information on a myriad of topics? Of course they do. But the world is moving away from the printed page and toward cloud-based information that can be accessed anywhere, anytime. The infographic below shows how libraries are using technology to engage users. Libraries are adopting everything from e-books to social media to faster networks to more computers. It’s a time of extreme change for the institution of libraries, but it’s also an exciting time:
What makes [libraries] such lasting institutions, though, isn’t the mere act of preserving books and promoting knowledge. Rather, it’s the almost uncanny ability to consistently adapt to the changing demands of the local populace and emerging technology alike. The library system probably won’t disappear anytime soon, but rather, see itself blossoming into something new and exciting in congruence with today’s myriad informational demands.
Read 10 Ways The Library Of The Future Will Be Different on TeachThought.