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The Future of Digitial Libraries


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Objectives
Discuss the past, present, and future of digital libraries.
Describe the constantly changing nature of digital environments and the implications for library and information science professionals.
Analyze the research literature on digital libraries.

“Not too many years ago, we used the phrase virtual library to extend the idea of what a library is into the digital realm. Now the digital and physical library are so entangled as to be inseparable. We have grown accustomed to thinking about information as stuff that doesn’t depend on a particular format. The importance of “journal” as a category persists because scholars still think of them as a meaningful representation of a collective approach to particular types of scholarly questions, but it’s far more likely today to be online, with articles scattered throughout a disparate collection of journal content, rather than on a shelf as a chronological record of one corner of academic inquiry. The idea that students should “go to the library” to do their research is more likely to mean going to a website than through a door” (Fister, 2015, 97)

Today’s youth will never know a world without digital libraries. What does tomorrow hold?

readRead!
Read at least TWO of the following articles about the future of libraries.

Breeding, Marshall (December 1, 2014). Library technology forecast 2015 and beyond. Computers in Libraries, 34(10), 22-24.

Dempsey, Lorcan (2015). Technology co-evolves with organization and behaviors. In N. Allen (ed.), New Roles for the Road Ahead: Essays Commissioned for ARCL’s 75th Anniversary. ACRL.

Levine-Clark, Michael (July 2014). Access to everything: building the future academic library collection. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 14(3), 425-437.

Maron, Nancy L., Yun, Jason, & Pickle, Sarah (2013). Sustaining Our Digital Future: Institutional Strategies for Digital Content. JISC.

Rasmus, Daniel W. (December 2013). Uncertainty and the future of libraries. Computers in Libraries, 33(10), 4-32.

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Massive Digital Libraries

From the Digital Public Library of America to Europeana, there are a growing number of massive libraries. Will these huge digital libraries continue to grow? Will other new libraries join them? What's the future of the massive digital library?

According to Weiss (2014, 12), massive digital libraries

"are here to stay. They are part of the future. They are provocative on multiple fronts, challenging hidebound assumptions about the library’s centrality as a space for study and the housing of physical books and volumes. If the concept of the library and its intellectual underpinnings are to persist in the foreseeable future, they will need to be adapted to the reality of current conditions to avoid diminishment."

massive

Collaboration and New Fields

Over the past several years, we've seen a growing number of libraries, archives, and museums working together. We've also seen disciplines come together to form new fields and interdisciplinary approaches. What's the future of collaboration and connections?

Digital Humanities

Digital humanities is a great example of an emerging area that brings disciplines together. Digital humanities applies technology to address humanities questions, share and analyze primary source materials, and explore materials in new ways.

Explore some resources related to this popular new area:

Journals

Organizations and Project

Scientific Communication

Another growing area connects science, digital scholarship, data centers, and libraries.

readRead!
Read at least ONE of the following articles about science and libraries.

Castelli, D., Manghi, P., & Thanos, C. (2013). A vision towards Scientific Communication Infrastructures: On bridging the realms of Research Digital Libraries and Scientific Data Centers. International Journal On Digital Libraries,13(3/4), 155-169.

OR

Assante, Massimiliano, Candela, Leonardo, Castelli, Donatella, Manghi, Paolo, and Pagano, Pasquale (January/February 2015). Science 2.0 repositories: time for a change in scholarly communication. D-Lib Magazine, 21(1/2). Available online.

Technology and Libraries

The combination of library science, information science, computer science, and other areas related to technology are causing a boom in our understanding of the organization and representation of information. Linked data is just one example of the growing inter-connectiveness of information.

readRead!
Read Papadakis, Ioannis, Kyprianos, Konstantions, & Stefanidakis, Michalis (May/June 2015). Linked data URIs and libraries: the story so far. D-Lib Magazine, 21(5/6). Available online.

While some researchers focus on metadata and linked data, other scholars are exploring innovative ways to make more effective use of existing tools found in digital collections. For instance, America's Public Bible searches newspaper databases for Bible quotes. According to the project's founder, the project "uncovers the presence of biblical quotations in the nearly 11 million newspaper pages in the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America collection. Using thetechniques of machine learning I have identified over 866,000 quotations of the Bible or verbal allusions to specific biblical verses on those newspaper pages."

Library-Press Partnerships

A new trend is emerging that connects libraries with presses. What other types of relationships could be made between libraries and other organizations?

The Ethics of Suicide Digital Archives at The University of Utah was developed as a companion to the book "The Ethics of Suicide" by Peggy Battin published by Oxford University Press. Read about this unique library/press partnership. Digital Archive users can read the book's introduction and even participate by suggesting additional readings. QR codes embedded in the book (shown below) are connected directly to the digital archive. Users can experience the book as a print publication, e-book publication, or through the digital archive. One of the reasons this partnership works so well is that many of the works cited in the book are available in the public domain.

suicide

Digital Library Spotlight
The Ethics of Suicide Digital Archives at The University of Utah is a companion to the book "The Ethics of Suicide" by Peggy Battin published by Oxford University Press. This unique partnership allows readers access to the full-text of works in the public domain. In addition, users can search these texts.

readRead!
Read Library Publishing Redux: An Unprecedented Example of a Scholar/Library/Publisher Partnership by Rick Anderson.

User Experiences and Future Research

“Although there continue to be predictions of bookless libraries (with books no more than
aesthetic decoration), only a few high-profile examples have emerged” (ACRL, 2015, 4).

computer booksAlthough few libraries have gone totally digital, are digital libraries the future? How will paperless libraries and online resources impact the user experience?

Over the past decade, many libraries have been involved with digitization projects. Steve Cohen (2013) notes that many projects end with dissemination leaving many questions about how these collections are being used and how they could be used in the future.

He suggests that researchers begin to look at the impact digital collections are having on their end users. Cohen (2013, 167) concludes that

"oral history is for the people who take the time to tell their stories and for those who hear them... Billions of people now have access to oral histories on the web. There needs to be a science that identifies the hidden impacts these histories have on their potential audience."

readRead!
Read at least TWO of the following articles.

Bell, Steven J. (July 2014). Staying true to the core: designing the future academic library experience. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 14(3), 369-382.

Cohen, Steve (Winter/Spring 2013). Shifting questions: new paradigms for oral history in a digital world. Oral History Review, 40(1), 154-167.

Schonfeld, Roger C. (2013). Stop the Presses: Is the Monograph Headed Toward an E-Only Future? Ithaka S+R. Available online.

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Resources

ACRL (March 2015). Environmental Scan 2015. Available online.

Breeding, Marshall (December 1, 2014). Library technology forecast 2015 and beyond. Computers in Libraries, 34(10), 22-24.

Fister, Barbara (2015). Creating common ground. In N. Allen (ed.), New Roles for the Road Ahead: Essays Commissioned for ARCL’s 75th Anniversary. ACRL.

Maron, Nancy L., Yun, Jason, & Pickle, Sarah (2013). Sustaining Our Digital Future: Institutional Strategies for Digital Content. JISC.

Papadakis, Ioannis, Kyprianos, Konstantions, & Stefanidakis, Michalis (May/June 2015). Linked data URIs and libraries: the story so far. D-Lib Magazine, 21(5/6). Available online.

Weiss, Andrew (2014). Using Massive Digital Libraries : A LITA Guide. Chicago, IL, USA: American Library Association. Available as an ebook through IUPUI.


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