‘Libraries of the Future’ can support resource allocation decisions, suggests D-Lib editor

Editor of D-Lib magazine Bonita Wilson welcomes ‘Libraries of the Future’ in the latest issue of the magazine, and welcomes in particular its aim to address the needs of future information users.

She quotes the campaign’s ‘essential question’: ‘In an information world in which Google apparently offers us everything, what place is there for the traditional, and even the digital, library?’ – but suggests that the campaign may already have its own answer, saying that ‘the authors tip their hand by almost immediately stating that “libraries will continue to be essential to acacdemic success and the future of education and research…”‘

Bonita Wilson may well be right that there is an implicit assumption involved here and she reminds us of the need not to take anything for granted when she writes: ‘Only time will tell whether that is true or not, and whether this particular approach to focussing activity and discussion will or will not be successful…’ But, she continues, ‘D-Lib applauds the efforts.’

 She continues: ‘Envisioning how libraries will be affected by the development of new technologies, and the changing needs and expectations of users, is more than an intellectual exercise. What libraries anticipate as necessary to provide users’ future information needs affects how they choose to direct their resources today. The Libraries of the Future web site could be of significant value to library administrators making those resource allocation decisions.’

 For the editorial in the latest issue of D-Lib, please go to: http://www.dlib.org/dlib/may08/05editorial.html