This is a mini-presentation of some trends, encompassing society, technology and libraries, that are affecting public libraries. These are current trends, not futuristic outlooks. Many of these are actively impacting the way libraries are used now and in the next couple of years. Knowing and responding to these developments are key to meeting community needs and keeping the library a vital civic organization. As I summarize each trend, I’ll also tell you how other libraries are reacting.
First, let’s take a moment to reflect on the world a baby born today will inhabit.
What other things have been a big part of your life that the baby won’t know? (Walkman, typewriter, CB radio…)A good library will thrive in a changing environment like this. Monitor community trends and changes; be flexible, ready to give up sacred practices of the past. And libraries are doing just that!
Family and household demographics are changing: Globally, more people living alone, and liking it, than ever before. 28% of US population. Library social events and clubs. Marriage: Young people delaying marriage, gay marriages skyrocketing. Parenting: Single parents, same-sex parents, multi-ethnic parents, more stay-at-home dads. Parenting resources; multi-agency child screenings and programs; Night and Dad storytimes. New public health issues include childhood obesity, online bullying, auto accidents due to texting, etc. Partnerships with social service agencies focused on community concerns.
Niche aging65+, 13% of population, By 2030, will be 29% of populationThis group is like a parking lot of used cars!Every 8th person is 65+1 in 6 people are caring for elderly or disabled person, average 20 hours/ week caring for loved ones51% of care recipients live in their own homeLibraries provide a variety of services to meet needs: collections and programs at retirement communities, volunteer and social opportunities, intellectual stimulation, grandparent experiences.
Meet the “Vigilante Consumer”, who has mastered frugality and the complaint process. Wants the best price. Posts complaints about service on social media. Learns to dodge automated phone systems. Extreme couponing. Bashes government employees. Library response: Consumer Reports. Library user reviews. Customer feedback surveys and corrective action.
Majority are femaleUse library website 1+ times per weekEducated > high schoolAge 21-60Read 47 books/year, mostly from libraryAlso borrow media, go to programs, and majority votePay attention to this person and spend less time on non-users.
Libraries are under attack by “disruptive technologies.” They are better, faster way of doing things which have become popular, and these new ways disrupt and destroy the old way. What are some disruptive technologies that have affected libraries?E-booksStreaming videoMOOCsMusic downloadsDecline of print newspapers & magazines
At the same time we have to meet the needs of those who like doing things easier – like e-books, libraries are the video stores of the communities.
--GPS, smartphones and our computers generate massive amounts of information that companies, law enforcement and even individuals are willing to pay money to see. --Minute details of our lives are captured and shared, from the brand of toothpaste you buy at the grocery store, to the causes you’ve “liked” on Facebook. --Surveys demonstrate that in spite of concerns about privacy and identity theft, Americans actually do little to protect themselves online.--They don’t mind sharing if they get coupons or GPS traffic reports. --How can you library address a growing demand for personal borrowing records while maintaining confidentiality?
“Technology Overload” A gigabyte = 1 hr of video, 10 yards of books. Time Magazine reported we take in 34 gigs of data in 12 hours a day. Scientists proving multi tasking not really possible. Backlash to email and 24/7 texting and twittering. “Tech free” spa retreats. Green spaces highly valued in community planning. Library quiet zones, individual study spaces.
Maker spaces are big. These are library spaces that have a 3D printer.
Library trends 2014
Schlow Centre Region Library &
The Ivy Group, Ltd.