What Can We Expect from the Libraries of the Future?
Local libraries are closing all over the world. This is incredibly unfortunate as libraries offer a safe space for those who need it, an introduction to great works of literature, and countless helpful resources on all subjects. However, the rise in digital media and government budget cuts means many libraries have been unable to cope. To stop further libraries having to close, innovative and resourceful librarians and managers are making changes. Here are some of the things you can expect to see in libraries in the next few years.
An Increase in Technology
Libraries already have computers and basic checking-out systems, but their use of technology is expected to rise. Libraries will be home to e-readers, tablets and more, allowing users far greater access to digital files.
More for Children
Most libraries run groups, classes, and sessions for children, as well as having a separate children’s library. But, as yet, there is a lack of programs and groups for children with disabilities or those on the autism spectrum. Sensory sessions are already becoming more popular in libraries and this range of programs looks set to expand to help a wider range of children and their parents.
A lot of larger and more modern libraries already have some level of automation in place. In the future, instead of searching stacks of books, you could input what you are looking for into a computer. This computer will then send a message to a system which can find your book from the thousands kept underground and deliver it to your terminal within minutes. This kind of automation saves time and space.
Better Use of Space
Automated systems mean there will be more space in library buildings. These areas could be used to house clubs and groups, hold meetings or even be rented out for special events.
Libraries of the future will be seen more as community spaces where people can come together and find everything they need from education to support.
Digital Media Labs
A few libraries already have digital media labs and they are incredibly popular, so expect to see more in the libraries of the future. Digital media labs will appeal to a younger and wider audience as space where they can use all kinds of digital equipment, including cameras, video cameras, tablets, sound recording and design equipment. These labs will also offer lessons and guidance in these areas.
Social media is a fantastic yet simple way to grow any business. Libraries in the future will be using social media to reach a wider audience, tempt those who have never considered visiting a library, showcase their services, send users updates, engage with the public, and show that they are modern and interesting. Expect libraries in the coming years to have profiles across many social media platforms.
If you are interested in learning more about what changes to expect in the future as well as those that are already happening, consider studying an online masters in library science. An online MMLIS degree is perfect for those who feel passionate about ensuring libraries have a great future.