The Wolanski Foundation Project


Paper no 62









List of papers







Routes to the future: library trends and prognostications

by Paul Bentley


Article originally published in Online Currents March 2014 and reprinted with kind permission of Thomson Reuters.


JC Williamson's Federation Pantomime Australis or the City of Zero

Predicting the future is what we do to prepare ourselves for tomorrow.

Some predictions prove to be fanciful while others turn out to be uncannily accurate. JC Williamson, in his Federation pantomime Australis anticipated that in the year 2000 New Zealand would be our seventh state and the Antarctic would be the capital of Australia. The French artist Villemard imagined in 1910 that one hundred years later we would be able to send mail by dictating into a loudspeaker and we would be listening to audio-newspapers. Some would argue that George Orwell foresaw with unsettling accuracy in his novel 1984 a world run by Big Brother through – at least in Australia - the Ministry of Truth.

Libraries have so far survived the first phase of the information revolution. But what is in store for the coming decades?


When gearing up for the future, it is instructive to look at the past. Richard Neustadt and Ernest May promoted the necessity of doing so as a way of avoiding future mistakes. [1]

My readily available pieces of history are the articles I’ve written on conferences and trends for Online Currents during the past decade. What sort of story do they tell?

As the new millennium drew near, the library world was mired in uncertainty. At the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) Information Online Conference 1999, rapporteur Neil McLean summed it up. The internet was the greatest cottage industry in the world but more discussion was needed on how to make the most of it. He urged delegates to take comfort in uncertainty, find a new centre of gravity, think long term, re-think paradigms, form new alliances, re-think architectures, examine intermediary roles, and match people with new opportunities and resources. Provocateur Tony Barry reckoned libraries would be by-passed or take on a more advisory role, major search engines would go down the gurgler, and there would be a rise in specialised online indexes. Peter Lyman, from the University of California, Berkeley, warned about getting too carried away with technology. It does not produce productivity gains, he said, but it does drive changes in the way work is organised.[2]

At the Ozeculture conference in 2001, John Rimmer from the National Office of the Information Economy (NOIE) offered a map and a compass to find directions in a new economy based on the creation and exchange of information. For the cultural sector, he said, growth would be dependent on successful navigation of apparently contradictory and competing forces, making the most of converging technologies and the restructuring of industries. There was talk of allocating investment funds in a more sustainable fashion.[3]

A couple of months later, the Computing Arts Conference at the University of Sydney depicted the work of academia in the digital realm. In a year which also witnessed the attack on the twin towers in New York and the birth of Wikipedia, Edward Zalta gave the stand-out presentation on how the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy was able to marshal the forces of scholars to produce a free online product. Government, academic, cultural heritage and business sectors, however, seemed to be running on separate exploratory tracks.[4]

The ALIA Biennial Conference in 2002 set out to help librarians position themselves in an Australian knowledge industry then valued at $171 billion. IBISWorld’s Phil Rhuven drew attention to the extent to which librarians were merely bit players in the information game. Peter Crawley, headmaster of Knox Grammar School, anticipated a future fascination with Facebook and Twitter by saying that gossip helped us process information. Various speakers touched on the importance of infrastructure, connectivity, content, competencies, research and innovation. One of the aims of the conference was to promote discussion on a national plan, but there was some confusion as to whether it was to be a plan for ALIA or for the sector at large. Some doubted that national information plans really work. Crawley cautioned against anecdotal thinking: “if you cut and paste your future, you will cut and paste you’re irrelevancy.” McLean asserted there would be no quick way to work through the future: “we may need to live through a generation of uncertainty.”[5]

The Ozeculture conference in 2002 was devoted to the challenges of marrying cultural heritage with information technology. Government adviser Terry Cutler set the mood by saying we were still in the primitive stage of the technology revolution. “There is not enough disorder, one of the ingredients of invention.” The challenges included long-term thinking, linking pre-internet and past-internet collections and “moving into the spaces between the main tracks”. NOIE’s David Kennedy, sketching out findings of the Creative Industries Cluster Study Report, called for more industry data to guide decisions and the creation of clusters in which small players would feed off big players. There was talk about the need for “whole-of-government” approaches.[6]

In 2003 it appeared libraries and kindred spirits were more positive about their role in the information revolution. At the ALIA Information Online Conference that year, the need for clarity emerged as a common theme in a number of papers devoted to roles, strategies and services. Generalisations tended to muddy positions. Roger Summitt, in the final session, urged delegates to ‘distinguish between different types of information needs, from broad public needs to the needs of the commercial workplace.’[7]

In 2003, the Australian Senate conducted its inquiry into the role of libraries in the online environment. The committee had formed the reassuring impression that Australia was remarkably well served by its library services. The “propensity [of libraries] to band together and to share resources is an object lesson in what can be achieved by cooperation across jurisdictional boundaries.” It was, however, concerned that many outstanding services appeared not to be widely known and that libraries appeared to be taken for granted rather than valued. It recommended in principle the notion of a national information policy and anticipated the Cultural Ministers’ Council would review the need for such a policy. Other recommendations touched on national leadership, connectivity, content, legal deposit, skills, promotion and funding.[8]

Two other articles in 2003 (Arts Hub Australia and Who’s Who in Australia Live!) looked at responses by local commercial publishers to the emerging online environment.[9] And, in the same year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics published a web-based compendium of metrics for Australia’s knowledge-based economy and society, involving a suite of indicators representing contexts, innovation and entrepreneurship, human capital, information and communications technology, and economic and social impacts.

At the 2005 ALIA Information Online Conference, Colin Webb, felt the time had arrived to change the metaphor to describe how librarians were coping in the online revolution. In1995, he said, we had talked of the internet in terms of “drinking from a fire hose,” but in 2005 it felt that we were now preoccupied with putting out bush fires. As major overseas reports presented a picture of sector fragmentation, duplicated effort and resources, lack of leadership and lack of influence in the higher reaches of political power, there was an expectation that some coherence would be forged locally by the newly-established Collections Council of Australia.[10]

In the same year, it was time to explore the purpose and dynamics of library and information associations. The internet had made it easier for librarians to find professional information, but it had also made it more difficult for some associations to retain members. Business acumen, it seemed, was needed to harness a diverse marketplace in which values and volunteerism continued to play an important part.[11]

The ALIA Information Online Conference in 2007 explored the changing nature of library services as we moved closer to a Semantic Web. Joanne Lustig’s analysis that compelling disruptive forces were triggering a period of exponential change was balanced by more circumspect commentary that questioned the need for exponential change. Walt Crawford, for example, was sceptical about the need for a revolution, but he thought Library 2.0 developments would make libraries more interesting, more relevant and better supported.[12]

The high dependency of libraries and other cultural institutions on government funding prompted a closer look at government policies in 2009. Creative Nation in 1994 had been followed by a steady trickle of Government reports and policies about the information economy and the cultural heritage and creative industry sectors. Future prospects appeared to rest with the Collections Council of Australia, which had been created by the Howard Government in 2004. The Council’s Australian Framework for Digital Heritage Collections presented priorities for further collaboration under nine broad needs. It called for additional government funds and a more sensible way of allocating funds, only to find its own funding had been withdrawn by the Labor Government.[13]

The ALIA Information Online Conference in 2009 explored the buzz around the need for transformative change, spending money wisely, and working creatively with others. Two main threads were that the changing behaviours of users would drive this change and librarians should jettison their risk-averse bent in favour of being more innovative.[14]

The Museums Australia national conference in 2009 drew out reflections on how museums were connecting with information seekers. In considering the museum sector’s tortured attempts to deal with standards and aggregation since the 1920s, a report by Mary Elings and Günter Waibel was called into play as a reminder that successfully connecting library, archive and museum collections hinges on the emergence of a more homogenous practice in describing like materials in different institutions. While it is easy to map data structures, data content variance prohibited economic plug-and-play aggregation of collections.[15]

The article Mastering Digital Lives in 2010 reviewed personal digital practices in a Web 2.0 world and the work of cultural heritage institutions to address attendant challenges through projects such as PARADIGM, the Digital Lives Project, and OCLC’s Sharing and Aggregating Social Metadata study. In an age when everyone with a computer has become an archivist, for cultural heritage institutions risk management had gained new prominence as the name of an old game.[16]

The VALA conference in 2010 drew out thoughts about the Semantic Web, cloud computing and linked open data. The information revolution was described is an evolution with innovative outbursts. An organic Web was leading us to a linked up future in which language was the impediment as well as its currency. For the Semantic Web to work, Tom Tague urged, we need to clean up the dirty data in the World Wide Web. Dealing with dirty data would involve discipline in the back end at a time when the back end was an open office. Librarians were urged to step up their role in the revolution. Stepping up would involve strengthening cooperation, developing systems and applying standards.[17]

The ALIA Information Online Conference 2011 got underway as the tipping point for e-books was about to arrive. Borders and Angus and Robertson were about to be placed into voluntary administration. Jim McKerlie urged librarians to find new paradigms to help libraries do more with less. Darwinism, he said, would prevail: there would be winners and losers. Other commentators pointed to the capacity of social media to change the nature of information production. Those in the parallel streams of the conference seemed to have their finger on the pulse: persistent change was part of doing normal business.[18]

The ALIA Biennial conference 2012 coincided with the rush to mobile devices and the need for designing better library interfaces. Michael Kirby urged us not to forget values in giving service. As technology continued to drive all before it, there were grounds for librarians to look forward to the future with optimism.[19]

Jane Douglas reported on the 2013 ALIA Information Online Conference in Brisbane. The attendance figures for Australia’s biggest library conference had dropped dramatically. Its theme was “be different, do different”. Speakers sought to position librarians as knowledgeable intermediaries in a world of overwhelmed users. Minds were again focussed on prompting the value and indispensability of libraries. There were calls for changes to buildings, systems, and services based on an understanding of the marketplace.[20]

Articles on the changing nature of library and archival services in the fields of the arts and health sectors revealed challenges in specialised areas exposed to new online opportunities, complex IT requirements, and half-baked management solutions.[21]


In 2014, the economic and social forces still appear to be daunting.

The CSIRO, stepping into the shoes of futurists John Naisbett and Patricia Aburdene, has identified 6 megatrends that may affect the way we operate. Three of them may influence the future of libraries. We will have to do more with less because the earth has limited resources. Individuals, communities, governments and businesses will be immersed into the virtual world to a much greater extent than ever before. There will be rising demand for experiences and social relationships over products.[22]

The predictions are amplified by other crystal ball gazers. The World Economic Forum sees intensifying cyber threats, inaction on climate change, a diminishing confidence in economic policies, a lack of values in leadership, an expanding middle class in Asia, and the rapid spread of misinformation online.[23] Among the predictions of the Futurist Magazine are things that are already happening. Big data will help anticipate our every move. Buying and owning things will go out of style. Quantum computing could lead the way to true artificial intelligence. Atomically precise manufacturing will make machinery, infrastructure and other systems more productive and less expensive. It also predicted populations would shrink by 2020 and our wealth will shrink with them.[24]

The current state of the internet flags geopolitical and social shifts. There are now more than 2.2 billion email users, who transmit 144 billion pieces of email per day. Around 70% of all email traffic is spam. There are more than 634 million websites. About half of the 2.4 billion internet users worldwide are from Asia. Facebook has more than 1 million active users, Twitter more than 200 million who send 175 million tweets every day. There were 1.2 trillion searches on Google in 2012. More than 1.1 billion people have smartphones. We watch 4 billion hours of video a month on YouTube.[25]

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering proffers likely technological directions. Mobile and cloud computing are converging to create a new platform of unlimited, more seamless computing resources. New 3D printing tools and techniques are empowering everyone to create new devices more quickly, cheaply and easily. Exploding interest in Massive Open Online Courses is generating a need for technology to support new learning systems and styles. There will be a continuing battle to balance individual privacy and the interests of the system at large. Big data is generating datasets that are increasing exponentially in both complexity and volume, making their sharing and archiving among the great challenges of the 21st century.[26]

The International Federation of Library Associations has pinpointed nuances in the transformative impact of new technologies. In its Trend Report, it says technologies will both expand and limit who has access to information. Online education will democratise and disrupt global learning. The boundaries of privacy and data protection will be redefined. Hyper-connected societies will listen to and empower new voices and groups.[28] An earlier report by the American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy makes similar observations and concludes that the future is mainly about collaboration.[28]

The signs of change can be found in a number of reports about libraries in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

The Pew Research Centre’s report, Library Services in the Digital Age, establishes the importance of public libraries in the minds of Americans. Public libraries are trying to adjust their services to new realities while at the same time serving patrons who rely on more traditional resources. The availability of free computers and internet access now rivals book lending and reference expertise as a vital service. Americans would embrace even wider uses of technology at libraries such as online research services, apps-based access to materials and programs, the ability to check out books, movies or music without having to go to the library, and classes on the use of technology.[29]

The slogan on a media release from the Institute of Museum and Library Services report on American public libraries sums up the challenges they face: “Libraries doing more with less, local government taking larger funding role”. Although physical visits increased and circulation figures were the highest in ten years, expenditures decreased for the first time since 2001 and local governments have taken on a greater support role. The recession has had an impact on the public library workforce, which has decreased by 3.8% since 2008. Librarians made up one-third of all library staff.[30]

The Association of Research Libraries gives a picture of what has been happening in research libraries. Over the past 20 years, there has been an overall drop of 10% in staff numbers, a 29% decline in total circulation, and a staggering decline of 65% in reference transactions. Inter library loan traffic increased by 158% in the same period, but has started to drop. In the period 1986-2011 spending on serials soared 402%. [31]

In the United Kingdom, government austerity measures appear to be having an even greater impact on libraries. According to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accounting more than 200 public libraries were cut in the UK in the period 2011/12. Staff numbers dropped by 8%, while the number of volunteers working in libraries increased by 9% (on top of a 23% hike in 2010/11). The number of books issued by libraries also decreased, as did the number of active borrowers.[32] With overall cuts of 40% in the costs of running government departments between 2010 and 2016, library bodies are anticipating further grim news.[33]

The release of Arts Council England’s report Envisioning the Library of the Future has generated fresh cries for help. John Dolan, Chair of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, said “without stronger political leadership supporting a clear national vision it’s going to be a struggle to deliver consistently high-quality and relevant library services in communities across the country.[34] Alan Davey, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, pinpointed collaboration is key element in placing the library as the hub of the community, making the most of digital technology, and delivering the right skills for those who work in libraries.[35]

Australia’s public libraries, according to a report by SGS Economics, deliver benefits that are worth nearly three times the cost of running them. With a net annual benefit of $1.97 billion, it makes a case for increased levels of funding for public library services.[36] ALIA is reviewing options for its future direction and has released a paper to promote discussion on the future of all types of libraries around three themes: convergence, connection and the golden age of information.[37] The Victorian Government is reviewing future options, including the level of funding and funding accountability provided by the three tiers of government to support public library services.[38]

Two American colleagues draw some of the threads together.

OCLC’s Lorcan Dempsey says we are at a “re-set moment” in which collaboration has to move from the margins to the core. At the LIANZA Conference 2013 and in a related article, he said reduced transaction costs in a network environment are reshaping whole industries and libraries will be no exception. We are experiencing an accelerated transition from print to digital materials, from bought material to licensed products. Shared and third party arrangements are being used to manage related processes. There is trend from institutional systems to shared systems. Library spaces are being redefined to encourage interaction between people and specialist services. Libraries must build their services around user workflows. Distinctive services are emerging in which library expertise is being promoted as a key element of library value. An enterprising mentality is required to implement changes.[39]

Clifford Lynch, the director of the Coalition of Networked Information, in The Public Library in 2020, anticipates a profound transition for public libraries. Some things won’t change much, but the accessibility of electronic information from other services is forcing public libraries out of their traditional marketplace. As the economic circumstances move from a world in which information resources are sold to one in which they are licensed, there will be a flash-point as electronic materials begin to dominate. The good news is that public libraries will be able to reposition themselves as cultural memory services by forging closer alliances and partnerships with historical societies, local government records services, businesses and universities. There may be a move to membership-based funding strategies as a means of financial survival. We may see library mergers or close alliances of geographically remote libraries. They may become creators of specialised content and publishers of independent authors to complement the commercial mainstream.[40]

Lynch and David Fenske, in a conversation at Drexel University's College of Computing & Informatics in October 2013, reflected on the future of libraries and informatics in the scholarly environment. Among the issues to be managed are big data and data curation, the tensions between private rights and public good, cyber security and misinformation, and personal digital archives. There is a need to develop services in a way that is “equal to the pace of public expectations.” [41]


Will the future of libraries involve more of the same or something completely different?

Some would say it is a question not worth answering because the planet may not survive very much longer. Ugo Bardi references the wisdom of Seneca in an article about the possible end of civilisation caused by inaction on climate change: “It would be some consolation for the feebleness of ourselves and our works if all things should perish as slowly as they come into being; but as it is, increases are of sluggish growth, but the way to ruin is rapid.” The Roman civilisation took seven centuries to peak and about three centuries to fall. But, as a way of lacing a daunting challenge with a dose of optimism, Bardi does take solace in the words of Robert Louis Stevenson: “Everybody, sooner or later, sits down to a banquet of consequences.”[42]

The future may be less dramatic than some futurists predict. Joss Tantram says it will most probably lie somewhere “between the worst doom-mongering predictions and the most optimistic techno-utopian dreams.” But it will be shaped by our passivity or the action we take. It is not magic we require for a sustainable future, just co-ordinated will and intent.[43]

The information revolution continues to evolve with occasional surprises. Bill Davidow has warned of a future catastrophe: the internet may be the conduit for the next global crisis. Social media offer the illusion of greater democracy, the promise of productivity, and smaller thoughts. Some say the information revolution has stalled, while others say it takes a while for revolutions to play out.

The things we can control may be more important than the things we can’t control. Frank Spencer and Yvette Montero Salvatico, for example, in arguing that predicting the future is a waste of time, have said we should pull ourselves toward to where we want to be. Guiding narratives driven by values, aspirations and good design are a more effective compass in navigating our complex and volatile landscape.[44]

How do we pull ourselves to where we want to be?

The uncertainty felt by librarians in 1999 has not abated and is now an accepted norm. The Guardian reminds us that ideas contrary to a prevailing dogma are likely to be attacked when they first appear. Innate conservatism will destroy half-baked ideas but hostile criticism will be honed by persistent minds. Uncertainty, accompanied by confusion and discovery in equal measure, “will always remain a labyrinth.”[45]

The call for leadership has been constant in conference deliberations, but what does leadership involve and who’s to be the leader? In the 2002 ALIA Biennial conference, Neil McLean detected “a yearning for leadership”, but he also put the finger on the dysfunction of library tribes. When creating a new infrastructure, he cautioned against making generalisations and searching for a one-size-fits-all solution. Creating a new infrastructure, Paul Raven reminds us, is a staggeringly complex and messy job. We are often tempted to make it someone else’s problem.[46]

Plans are one of the necessities although some well-positioned commentators have expressed cynicism about grand visions and the likelihood of broad consensus. Planning is a process as well as a recipe, particularly in world where the things driving the action are constantly changing. Instinct sometimes has to override well honed plans.

The call for solutions has often been accompanied by the call for innovation when the need may actually be the need for more common sense. Some have argued that innovation is an overrated concept and an overworked word. Librarians are usually part of someone else’s business. With limited control over their finances, they are not well placed to take risks. But they are adept at making the most of someone else’s innovation.

Revolutionary collaboration is widely proclaimed as an overriding necessity, but deep collaboration in the cultural heritage sector has been difficult to muster.

The experience of the National Digitisation Information Infrastructure Preservation Program in the United States highlighted the difficulty of collaboration in diverse environments. Managing institutional interests is not easily transferable to sector-wide, multi-jurisdictional programs. Even within the same domain, there are barriers to collaboration. Although partners share a common interest, their work in diverse communities is not necessarily conducive to thinking and working as a larger network. Interoperability challenges become greater as user communities broaden their interest. Solutions are not necessarily found by looking for silver bullets.[47]

Leah Prescott and Ricky Erway have underscored the institutional, technical and metadata challenges. The apparent differences in approaches by libraries, archives and museums might be insurmountable, they wrote in Single Search, if not for the fact that they share one value in common: their desire to simplify resource discovery and delivery.[48]

Government assistance is necessary at a time when there will be increasing pressure on the public purse. Marshalling the interest of cultural heritage institutions calls for compelling incentives, but the government record has not been encouraging on this front.

In Australia, the Howard government created the Collections Council of Australia, but the Labor government closed it down - along with the wrongly-named Collections Australia Network - with no explanation. The Labor government’s attempt to make high speed broadband as easy as turning on water has been replaced by Coalition plans based on the idea of reinventing the local telephone box. In the United Kingdom, the Cameron Government disbanded the Museums Libraries and Archives Council. The Institute of Museum and Library Services has survived the recession in the United States.

Future government decisions will be shaped by cultural heritage sector recommendations on how to spend taxpayer funds. Without a respected coordinating body to make sense of the complexities and high order priorities, actions will be left largely in the hands of those with control over major institutional spending.

The route to the future is probably the same as it was when Neil McLean sketched it out in 1999: take comfort in uncertainty, find a new centre of gravity, think long term, re-think paradigms, form new alliances, rethink architectures, examine intermediary roles, and match people with new opportunities and resources.

But at least we now have Trove as an established path to some of the hidden treasures and as a platform full of promise for future collaborative endeavours.[49]

End notes

[1] Neustadt, E and May E. Thinking in time: The uses of history for decision makers. (The Free Press, 1988).

[2] Bentley P, “Shifts in the sand: Information Online 2001” (2000) OLC v14 n10: 2

[3] Bentley P, “Australian culture seeks e-business direction: Impressions of the Ozeculture Conference, Melbourne, June 2001” (2001) OLC v16, n7: 16

[4] Bentley P. “Digital resources for research in the humanities: The computing arts conference, Sydney, September 2001” (2001) OLC v16, n10: 13

[5] Bentley P, “Searching for the next sigmoid curve: The ALIA Conference 2002” (2002) OLC v17, n6:19

[6] Bentley P, “Driving Australian e-culture: The Ozeculture Conference 2002” (2002) OLC v17, n8: 10

[7] Bentley P, “Information Roles: A Question of Maturity? A view of the Information Online Conference 2003, Part 1” (2003) OLC v18, n1: 7; Bentley P, “Stinking libraries, disappearing librarians and the invisible Web: A view of the Information Online Conference 2003, part 2” (2003) OLC v18, n3: 23

[8] Bentley P, “Libraries in the online environment, part 1: Contexts” (2004) OLC v19, n1: 11; Bentley P. “Libraries in the online environment, part 2: Challenges” (2004) OLC v19, n4:15; Bentley P, “Leading libraries, archives and museums in an online environment: A Senate Inquiry postscript” (2004) OLC v19, n6:14

[9] Bentley P, “Arts Hub Australia” (2003) OLC v18, n8: 12; Bentley P, “Who’s Who in Australia Live!” (2003) OLC v18, n10:10

[10] Bentley P, “Fighting bush fires: The 2005 Information Online Conference” (2005) OLC v20, n2: 6

[11] Bentley P, “Baking a new pie: Library & information associations in an online world” (2005) OLC v20, n9: 3

[12] Bentley P, “Embedding librarians in a world of dirty data: The Information Online Conference 2007” (2007) 21 OLC 231

[13] Bentley P, “The digital economy dance: Getting into step with government policy” (2009) 23 OLC 13

[14] Bentley P, “Getting in the game of creative collaboration: The ALIA Information Online Conference 2009” (2009) 23 OLC 1

[15] Bentley P, “Changing the horseshoe on a galloping horse: Connecting museums to information seekers (2009) 23 OLC 186

[16] Bentley P, “Mastering digital lives: Cultural heritage institutions tackle the Tower of Babel” (2010) 24 OLC 67.

[17] Bentley P, “Talking up the back end of an evolving revolution: The VALA Conference 2010” (2010) 24 OLC 121

[18] Bentley P, “Winning and losing in a world of new paradigms: the ALIA Information Online Conference 2011 - part one” ((2011) 25 OLC 111; Bentley P, “Operating in a world of ornate variations and tipping points: The ALIA Information Online Conference 2011 – part two” (2011) 25 OLC 1

[19] Bentley P, “Reinventing libraries for the mobile flaneurs: The odyssey continues” (2012) 26 OLC 295

[20] Douglas J, “ALIA Information Online 2013” (2013) 27 OLC 195

[21] Bentley P, “Evolving stages: Australian performing arts online” (2005) OLC v20, n6: 14; Bentley P, “Being there without being there: the Arts in the Age of YouTube” (2012) 26 OLC 171; Bentley P, “Catching lighting in a bucket: Archiving the performing arts in the digital age” (2012) 26 OLC 171; Bentley P, “Body knowledge in bytes; the health industry gears up for the 21st century” (2013) 27 OLC 186

[22] Naisbett, J and Aburdene P Megatrends 2000 London: Pan, 1990; CSIRO, Our Future World, 23 April 2010, updated 2 October 2012 23 April 2010,

[23] Columbus L, “Top Ten Trends Of 2014 From World Economic Forum Underscore The Need For Cloud Security” Forbes 15 November 2013

[24]Tucker P, “Top Ten Forecasts for 2014 and Beyond” The Futurist 6 October 2013

[25] “Internet 2012 in numbers” Pingdom 16 January 2013

[26] “Top 10 Tech Trends in 2014” IEEE Computer Society

[27] International Federation of Library Associations, Trend Report, (2013)

[28] Hendrix JC, Checking Out the Future: Perspectives from the library community on information technology and 21st-century libraries, ALA Office of Information Technology Policy, Policy Brief no 2, February 2010

[29] Zickuhr K, Rainie, L and Purcell L, Library Services in the Digital Age, Pew Research Centre 23 January 2013

[30] Institute of Museum and Library Services, “2010 public library survey results announced” 22 January 2013

[31] Kyrillidou M,” Research library trends: A historical picture of services, resources, and spending” in (2012) Research Library Issues: A Quarterly Report from ARL, CNI, and SPARC (280): 20-27. (

[32] Russell V, “Library closures hit 200 last year” The Chartered Institute of Public Finances and Accountancy 10 December 2012

[33] Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, “What the Government’s spending review means for library and information services”

[34] Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, “Call for political leadership on libraries” 23 May 2013

[35] Arts Council England, A response to the Envisioning the library of the future report, by Arts Council England Chief Executive Alan Davey, May 2013

[36] Australian Library and Information Association, “Libraries: a better investment than gold” 14 May 2013

[37] Australian Library and Information Association, Library and information services: The future of the profession themes and scenarios 2025 and related material

[38] Premier of Victoria, “Tomorrow’s Library report tells a compelling story” 3 December 2013

[39] Dempsey L, “Keynote presentation at LIANZA conference 2013”5 November 2013; Dempsey L, "Libraries and the informational future: aome notes" (2012) 32 Information Services & Use: 203–214

[40] Lynch, C The public library in 2020

[41] Lynch C and Fenske D, A Conversation [at] Drexel University College of Computing & Informatics 4 October 2013

[42] Bardi U, “The Seneca effect: Why decline is faster than growth” Business Insider Australia, 31 August 2011

[43] Tantram J, “Preparing for a sustainable future requires co-ordinated will, not magic” The Guardian 23 July 2013

[44] Spencer F and Salvatico, YM, “Why predicting trends doesn't help prepare for the future” Fast Company 20 November 2013

[45] “In praise of uncertainty” The Guardian 9 December 2013

[46] Raven, PG, “The artist as engineer: we need to talk about infrastructure” The Guardian 4 September 2013

[47] Bentley P, “The digital economy dance: Getting into step with government policy” (2009) 23 OLC: 13

[48] Prescott L and Erway R, Single Search: The Quest for the Holy Grail, OCLC Research July 2011

[49] Trove:

Non-commercial viewing, copying, printing and/or distribution or reproduction of this article or any copy or material portion of the article is permitted on condition that any copy of material portion thereof must contain copyright notice referring "Copyright ©2013 Lawbook Co t/a Thomson Legal & Regulatory Limited." Any commercial use of the article or any copy or material portion of the article is strictly prohibited. For commercial use, permission can be obtained from Lawbook Co, Thomson Legal & Regulatory Limited, PO Box 3502, Rozelle NSW 2039,


 About usWhat's newSite map | Searching  | Managing  | Learning  |  Library |  Research 

  Contact us | Home  

© 2014 The Wolanski Foundation Project

 Email web manager.  URL:

Page last updated:23 July 2014