Back to the Future: A provocation on predictions, past and present
The presentation reviews five propositions about libraries and collections from the past twenty years comparing what was predicted to the contemporary reality, focussing primarily on the institutional and regional experience. The propositions cover the journey from print to electronic, the move to an open access system of scholarly communication for all research outputs including data, the future of the research monograph, the management of print collections and finally the future of physical libraries. Why have some predictions come to pass but others not so exactly?
What does this mean for the shape of research libraries in the future particularly in the context of the major shifts in higher education over the past decade? The funding of much of Higher Education has shifted from state to student. The flipped classroom is influencing pedagogy. Researchers are adopting new methods, using the power of the internet to gather data and share results. Government want return on research investment through knowledge transfer. And our universities have become much more international in their outlook. Libraries pride themselves on their position at the heart of the academic enterprise. So how are they adapting to this changing environment? What new predictions can we make about their shape over the decades to come?