We have transitioned from a time where information was scarce and precious to today where information is vast and readily available, and in many cases, free.
People who in the past visited libraries to find specific pieces of information are now able to find that information online. So what does the future library look like?
Throughout history the role of the library was to serve as a storehouse, an archive of manuscripts, art, and important documents. The library was the center of information revered by most because each contained the foundational building blocks of information for all humanity.
In medieval times, books were valuable possessions far too expensive for most people to own. As a result, libraries often turned into a collections of lecterns with books chained to them.
In 1455 Johann Gutenberg unveiled his printing press to the world by printing copies of the Gutenberg Bible. Later Gutenberg had his printing press repossessed by Johann Fust, the man who had financed his work for the previous 10 years. The sons of Johann Fust were largely responsible for a printing revolution that saw over 500,000 books put into circulation before 1500.
A huge turning point in the evolution of libraries was architected by Andrew Carnegie. Between 1883 and 1929 he provided funding for 2,509 libraries, of which 1,689 of them were built in the US.
Leading up to today libraries have consisted of large collections of books and other materials, primarily funded and maintained by cities or other institutions. Collections are often used by people who choose not to, or can not afford to, purchase books for themselves.
But that definition is changing.
We have put together ten key trends that are affecting the development of the next generation library. Rest assured that these are not the only trends, but ones that have been selected to give clear insight into the rapidly changing technologies and equally fast changing mindset of library patrons.