Futures Thinking for Academic Libraries: Higher Education in 2025 by Staley and Malenfant tells of 26 possible scenarios that may impact academic libraries in the next 15 years. The scenarios include things like academic culture, demographics, distance education, funding, globalization, infrastructure/facilities, libraries, political climate, publishing industry, societal values, students/learning, and technology. The authors have examined the probability, impact, speed of change, and threat/opportunity potential of each scenario.
Of the 26 scenarios discussed, those with the highest impact and probability are:
- Breaking the textbook monopoly. Most states will have passed legislation that requires textbook publishers to make textbooks affordable in the future.
- Bridging the scholar/practitioner divide. Online publications, by scholarly societies in partnership with trade organizations and professional associations, are predicted to be open access and support robust community-based dialogue.
- Everyone is a “non-traditional” student. The interwoven nature of work/life/school will be accepted in higher education as life spans increase and students are unable to fund tuition in one lump.
- Increasing threat of cyberterrorism. University and library IT systems will be the targets of hackers, criminals, and rogue states, disrupting operations for days and weeks at a time. Continue reading Futures Thinking for Academic Libraries