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.