Lorcan Dempsey's "Libraries and the Informational Future: Some Notes" Now Available

This paper discusses environmental trends for libraries and some consequences for library education. It was presented by Lorcan Dempsey, OCLC's Vice President, Research, and Chief Strategist, at the Information Professionals 2050 (IP 2050) Conference. Dempsey's overarching theme is that we need to prepare for systemic changes by better understanding how organizations are being reshaped by networks.

Information Professionals 2050 was organized by the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to celebrate the ending of its 80th anniversary year. It took place 4-5 June 2012 and provided a venue in which information and library science leaders examined key issues related to future visions, skills and values. The conference focused on the key issues of Identifying what the needs of information users will be in 2050 as well as figuring out how professional education will need to be restructured to meet those needs.

Several takeaways from Lorcan's IP 2005 paper include:

  • Education, local government, and publishing are being reshaped by economic and networking pressures. Changes here will increasingly drive library changes and libraries need to understand those environments.
  • Libraries continue to shift from a collection-based view to a service-based view, with deeper engagement with the research, learning and information behaviors of their users.
  • Community engagement drives the need for new skills, more responsive organizational structures, and a readiness to reallocate resources to important areas.

Read the full article alone as an e-print [pdf] or alongside the other articles from IP 2050 in the book, Information Professionals 2050: Educational Possibilities and Pathways, edited by Gary Marchionini and Barbara B. Moran and published by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Please note that the e-print is a slightly edited version of the published chapter.)

For more information:

Lorcan Dempsey
Vice President, Research, and Chief Strategist

Melissa Renspie
Senior Communications Officer
OCLC Research