I was a bit disappointed with the "Top ten assumptions for the future of academic and research libraries" released by the ACRL Research Committee. The 10 are:
- There will be an increased emphasis on digitizing collections, preserving digital archives, and improving methods of data storage and retrieval.
- The skill set for librarians will continue to evolve in response to the needs and expectations of the changing populations (student and faculty) that they serve.
- Students and faculty will increasingly demand faster and greater access to services.
- Debates about intellectual property will become increasingly common in higher education.
- The demand for technology related services will grow and require additional funding.
- Higher education will increasingly view the institution as a business.
- Students will increasingly view themselves as customers and consumers, expecting high quality facilities and services.
- Distance Learning will be an increasingly common option in higher education, and will co-exist but not threaten the traditional bricks-and-mortar model.
- Free, public access to information stemming from publicly funded research will continue to grow.
- Privacy will continue to be an important issue in librarianship.
My main disappointment is that the research enterprise and the libraries role and impact, especially with respect to building a framework for "eScience" and data archiving, is not mentioned. Given the ACRL membership, I would think that this would be a top 10 item. It seems to underly a number of the 10, but I think it is so important it needs to have its own number. I also think the use of "distance education" is too restrictive and limiting to make it to an assumption. "Online Learning" is a much better way to frame this important assumption. The lack of any reference to the life-long learner is also a an issue for me: while this is an oft and over-used buzzword, it is a key assumption, especially when applied to the local community and their role in each institution's future success.
If you would like to get your 2 cents in you can do so at Reply online by April 30, 2007, at https://marvin.foresightint.com/surveys/Tier1Survey/ACRL/156