Office for Information Technology Policy
Confronting the Future: Strategic Visions for the 21st Century Public Library
Confronting the Future: Strategic Visions for the 21st Century Public Library (pdf) & en Español (pdf)
American libraries will confront formidable challenges during the next few decades of the 21st century. Both the media and technologies they deploy will continue the digital transformation that has already eroded or swept away in years what had lasted for decades or centuries. Nor is the rate of change slowing. The new media and technologies are enabling a steady flow of genre- and usage-changing innovations, and institutions drawing on these disruptive changes are competing with the library in its most fundamental roles. Libraries also are challenged by the financial constraints facing the agencies that support them, as well as shifts in the nature and needs of library users. If libraries are to evolve rapidly enough to meet these challenges, they will have to make careful and difficult strategic decisions and persevere in implementing those decisions.
There’s an App for That! Libraries and Mobile Technology: An Introduction to Public Policy Considerations
There’s an App for That! Libraries and Mobile Technology: An Introduction to Public Policy Considerations, (pdf) takes a look at how the adoption of mobile technology alters the traditional relationships between libraries and their users.
The policy brief, authored by OITP consultant Timothy Vollmer, explores the challenges to reader privacy, issues of access to information in the digital age (including content ownership and licensing), digital rights management, and accessibility.
Despite these challenges, Vollmer said libraries are embracing the growing capabilities of mobile technology and providing new, innovative services that extend the way libraries serve their existing patrons.
Checking Out the Future: Perspectives from the Library Community on Information Technology and 21st-Century Libraries
Checking Out the Future: Perspectives from the Library Community on Information Technology and 21st-Century Libraries (pdf) explores how many library professionals are recognizing the need to evolve during the digital revolution and are driving adaptations designed to ensure that libraries remain an integral part of our society’s commitment to education, equity, and access to information.
Authored by Jennifer C. Hendrix, OITP Consultant, Checking Out the Future, is based on a literature review conducted in 2008-2009 on the future of libraries, primarily of publications from within the library community. The associated annotated bibliography (pdf) is available and will be updated periodically.
“This publication represents an important, but only first step of a major effort by OITP on the future of libraries,” said Alan Inouye, OITP Director. “We thought it was critical to develop this synthesis of library community views on the future of libraries as a baseline as OITP explores the larger technological, political, economic, and social context,” he said.
Fiber to the Library: How Public Libraries Can Benefit
Fiber to the Library: How Public Libraries Can Benefit (pdf) assists libraries in understanding the benefits of fiber optic technology and to suggest strategies they can consider when exploring how to obtain fiber connectivity.