Mapping The Academic Library of the Future

This project is studying the future academic library for the next 10 to 15 years, in the context of the decline in importance of the printed book and its repercussions for use of library space, development of services, and deployment of staff.

Particular areas of concern are:

  • Will the library remain hybrid and if so, for how long?
  • What are the key drivers and barriers to change, and how do they relate?
  • How will experience differ across meta-disciplines and disciplines?
  • How will user factors such as age, generation, gender, class, ethnicity and disability impact preference and need?
  • How will issues, such as widening participation, user experience, TEF impact, and internationalisation, affect the situation?
  • Will different types of institution experience the change differently?
  • How will use of library space change?
  • What will the impacts be on library staff, e.g. in terms of embedding of staff and delivery of virtual services?

Professor Stephen PinfieldDr Andrew Cox and Sophie Rutter from the Information School​ are carrying out the research, which has been commissioned by the Transformation Group of SCONUL. The project team is working with leading experts in the library and information services field as well those working on learning technologies, HE policy and the wider information environment.