For 2007, this is more of a hope than a prediction. However, being in the library field and concerned that libraries are not changing fast enough to meet their new consumers (digital natives, Web 2.0 users, etc.), I offer this prediction: More school and public libraries will integrate Web 2.0 tools to meet the needs of the end user. (blogs, podcasts, personal customized searching, etc.).
I am not aware of any statistics that show the number of school and public libraries that use Web 2.0 tools or are even moving in this direction…nor the number of librarians who are bloggers. I suppose one indication is the number of library blogs listed on the Blogging Library Wiki or this chart showing the numbers of library blogs from June 2006 or the number of blogs with the word library listed on Technorati . Another source might be the list of best library blog awards.
Unfortunately, there are a number of indicators that the library that we know and love is becoming obsolete to many users – hopefully this trend will change in 2007!
- Microsoft builds the “School of the Future” high school in Philadelphia but did not include a school library. (Article in Macleans. Dec. 2006).
- Public library closes doors after school to students. (Article in New York Times. Jan. 2007)
- A survey of college students indicated they prefer to handle their information needs on their own. (Report about college students’ perception of the library. April 2006.)
- 73% of books in libraries are never checked out. (Column by Harvey Mackay, Dec. 2006.)