Find the Future
by Donovan Griffin
The future is an inconsistent and amorphous thing, and this is no less true for libraries. The technologies, practices, and conception of Northeastern academic libraries in the future may not apply equally to Midwestern public libraries at that later date. But history is littered with individuals and institutions predicting future trends and creating lasting achievements by pointing to a vague idea of what’s to come and saying, “That will be big.”
So in that spirit, this month’s IT is taking a look at the future of libraries, information professionals, and the tools they use to see if we can spot the future in some way, large or small. Don Hawkins’ trip to see the wildly successful makerspace at Fayetteville Free Library gives us a glimpse into a future in which libraries boast creation labs and promote community engagement through the maker movement. And in “The Evolving Role of the Information Professional,” Phil Brenneise explores the old balance between the purist and the progressive inside each info pro and how it plays out in the modern workforce. And Brendan Howley joins us to discuss user experience and the image of your library in “Future-Proofing Libraries” on page 14.
Take a look into the rest of the issue—there are plenty of ideas to consider. And one of them might be your path to the future. Read on.
— Donovan Griffin