The library and information landscape is constantly changing with the advent of new technologies. This is a global phenomenon. As an employee working in the library and information sector, we are concerned with the new developments taking place in our work environment and we are fully aware of the impact of these technologies, not only in our workplace but also in society in general. There have certainly been situations in our library where our users whom we serve prove to be more tech-savvy and display more competencies in the use of new technological tools. How do libraries and librarians respond to this changing technological environment?
IFLA Trend Report has identified five “high level trends shaping the information society, spanning access to education, privacy, civic engagement and transformation.” Before going through the Trend Report, it is recommended to read the IFLA’s Insights Document entitled “Riding the Waves or Caught in the Tide? Navigating the Evolving Information Environment” which “pulls together and summarizes all of the information contained on the Trend Report website for IFLA members. It identifies five high level trends and considers possible future “collision points” between trends affecting the role and identity of libraries.”
According to IFLA, “the Insights Document is the conversation starter for the library community. It’s the ‘way in’ to the Trend Report, and opens up discussion about how information trends are shaping your library, whether it’s a public, academic, specialist or national library, within your region.” The document is accessible at http://trends.ifla.org/files/trends/assets/insights-from-the-ifla-trend-report_v3.pdf.
The five trends identified are as follows:
Trend 1: New Technologies will both expand and limit who has access to information.
Trend 2: Online Education will democratise and disrupt global learning.
Trend 3: The boundaries of privacy and data protection will be redefined.
Trend 4: Hyper-connected societies will listen to and empower new voices and groups.
Trend 5: The global information environment will be transformed by new technologies.
LIA is encouraging all employees in the library and information sector to go through the document and participate actively in discussion groups to assess the situation at the local level.