Trends, Forecasts, and Bright Futures
As 2011 draws to an end, we close the books on another difficult year for library budgets and pause to look back with pride on how important libraries have been to their economically challenged patrons.
We asked our contributors and columnists to end the year with a look forward. As usual, they have risen to the occasion, identifying challenges, opportunities, and trends that will make a difference to operational efficiencies in libraries and quality of service to patrons.
Many of the articles in this issue emphasize new and expanded roles for libraries. You’ll read about how the Library of Congress has been archiving the web and how you can become a part of the effort to preserve our digital present for future generations.
No library would be worth its salt without literacy advocacy as part of its mission statement. We all know that means reading, writing, and computing, but if you want to give your patrons maximum value, outreach librarian Margot Malachowski suggests you consider adding health literacy to your priorities.
For most libraries in 2012, ongoing cost-consciousness is definitely in the cards. New City Library (N.Y.)’s Veronica Reynolds suggests that the other side of the coin is cheaper operations from employing open source and other new technologies.
All in all, our articles this month exhibit a trend. Taken together, they suggest a bright future for libraries of all kinds.
As we look back in future years upon the predictions made here, one can only hope these thoughts and viewpoints will be regarded as not just prophetic, but also visionary.
Dick Kaser, Executive Editor