Scenarios for the Future of the Book

Scenarios for the Future of the BookACRL has released a new research report, “Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians: Scenarios for the Future of the Book,” to help librarians reexamine their assumptions, which may be grounded in the current e-book zeitgeist. Authored by David J. Staley, director of the Harvey Goldberg Center for Excellence in Teaching in the History Department of Ohio State University, the report is a companion to the 2010 report Staley co-authored for ACRL, “Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians: Higher Education in 2025.”

This new report presents four scenarios, based in part on feedback from academic library directors. It includes scenarios which intentionally favor the continued existence of the printed book as a viable technology, so that academic and research librarians may expand their thinking about the future to include a richer set of environmental conditions.

The full report is freely available in the publications section of the ACRL website (PDF). For more discussion of the report, listen to a podcast conversation with Staley and ACRL President Joyce L. Ogburn.

As a companion to the report, the presidents of ACRL and ALCTS are holding a joint program, “Future of the Book: Innovation in Traditional Industries,” during the 2012 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, from 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. on Monday June 25, in the Anaheim Convention Center Ballroom B. Hear Duane Bray, a partner at IDEO, a global innovation and design consulting firm, discuss the challenges traditional industries often face when experiencing disruptive change. Bray will share concrete techniques for recognizing and harnessing opportunities for innovation.