Library Trends: Leading into the Future Workshop

December 11 - Bright Future

Attended a recent workshop in Doha, Qatar, entitled:  Library Trends: Leading into the Future.  This workshop was organized by LIAQ (Library and Information Association, Qatar) and the Mortenson Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

My takeaways:

I enjoyed the workshop thoroughly.  Covered interesting topics such as examining current trends in the library field (such as mobile computing, makerspaces, open access, MOOCs etc), conducting personal SWOT analysis,  various evolving roles of librarians and libraries in the future among others.

Doing my personal SWOT analysis is an eye opener.  I realized that there are several points for me to improve and seek opportunities that would be beneficial for me.  A stark reminder that I’m so absorbed in work that I didn’t had the time to take a step back and retrospect and introspect.  This personal knowledge audit allowed me to be critical of myself while keeping the findings private 🙂  The workshop also touched on creating a personal Personal Development Plan (PDP).  This plan outlines the short, mid and long term plans for area and activities for my career development.

Groupwork included identifying library audiences,  their expectations, role and outcome. For example, in a Graduate Research University Library, one of our important stakeholders is the faculty members.  We need to be able to identify their expectations, for example, accessing scholarly electronic resources without hassles.  In this instance, the role of the library is to provide access to electronic resources whether they are available as a subscription or open access via various devices such as computers, handheld devices, laptop, mobile devices and so forth.  (without any geographical restrictions).  The outcome would be higher level of usage of our electronic resources, justifying the subscription expenses.  Hopefully, this would assist our faculty members to produce high quality research.

We also discussed the top trends identified in the IFLA Trend Report:

  • New technologies
  • Online Education
  • Privacy and Data Protection
  • Hyper-connected societies
  • Global Information Environment

(Riding the Waves or Caught in the Tide?)

In addition to that, we reflected on United Nations Agenda 2030 and how libraries can align their contributions to this agenda.  Thought about reducing the carbon footprints, energy saving initiatives (like auto-off for computer monitors and so forth.

United Nations Agenda 2030 (Taken from website)

Dr Clara Chu (Director of Mortenson Center) mentioned that the future roles of librarians would be:

  • Sentry: Ensuring that information available is of highest quality
  • Evaluator: Assist users to make better decisions by recommending relevant information
  • Filter:  Sieve the good information from the bad information.
  • Certifier: Be truthful in providing the data for users.
  • Aggregator / Synthesizer:  Combine the various sources for users to see the bigger picture
  • Organizer:  Organize information to make more meaningful sense
  • Network Node:  Connect dots. Facilitate networking opportunities for our users.
  • Facilitator: Make users to understand their objectives and help them achieve their targets.

(taken from prentation slides)

Useful Links:

Library Trend Reports:


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