Earlier this year, the iSchool and the Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC) at the University of Maryland launched the Re-Envisioning the MLS initiative as part of a three-year process that explores what a future MLS degree should be. That is, as we think about the mix of changes in the information landscape, our communities, cultural institutions, technology, the economy, workforce needs and trends, and other factors, what should our MLS program look like in four years?
We’ve all likely seen various reports and discussions around the Future of Libraries. From Pew and Aspen Institute studies to forums to articles, there is no shortage of data or discussion on the topic. But the Future of Libraries necessitates a deeper look at emerging technology, information, demographic, and other trends — and a discussion regarding the Future of Librarians.
As we began planning for our Re-Envisioning initiative (you can catch up on all our efforts by searching our blog with #HackMLS), we developed the attached White Paper. In part, this was to inform our first meeting with our MLS Program’s inaugural Advisory Board. But it was also a way to try and identify and articulate key issues, trends, opportunities, and challenges that were emerging in various places and ways in the discourse around future roles for libraries, librarians, archivists, and information professionals.
Fortunately for us, the American Library Association’s Office of Information Technology and Policy (OITP) issued an excellent trends report entitled Snapshots of a Turbulent World. In part, this report served as the basis for our own White Paper and helped to shape our thinking. We presented the White Paper to our Advisory Board, and received a range of very useful feedback.
Now it’s your turn – we’d like to hear your thoughts on the issues we’ve identified, as well as trends, opportunities, challenges, and issues you see. You’ll find the paper in the following link. Please submit your comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.