Environmental Scanning

 

The body of Environmental Scanning material that follows was assembled in 2004–2005, prior to the adoption of the ALAhead to 2010 Plan, in an attempt to bring together documents and sources that would provide perspective on the trends of that time and the thoughts of those who were attempting to envision the future. 

The sources were collected based on input from ALA’s Divisions, Offices and contributing members, and were listed alphabetically by the contributing units
   

 

Contents

       Introduction
     The 2003 OCLC Environmental Scan: Pattern Recognition report
      From Scan to Plan: Integrating Trends into the Strategy Making Process
      Early Childhood Development
      Just in Time Research: Children Youth & Families
      SECPTAN: State Early Childhood Policy Technical Assistance Network
      National Association of Counties
     National Governors Association. Center for Best Practices
      Center for the Future of Local Governance
      Getting Ready: School Readiness Indicators Initiative
      Cable in the Classroom
      Partnership for 21st Century Skills
      PEW/Internet and American Life Project
      How Internet Filters Affect the Search for Online Health Information
      Summary Of Recent Court Rulings On Terrorism-Related Matters
      Implications of the Broadcast Flag: A Public Interest Primer
      Considering Consumer Privacy
      RFID Implementation in Libraries
      Privacy and Security in Library RFID
      ALA's Report on Library Funding in the United States
     U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
     Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive 
      The Chronicle of Philanthropy; the Newspaper of the Nonprofit World
     
World Future Society
      Abram, Stephen and Luther, Judy, "Born with the Chip." 
     Marc Prensky
      The Gates Library Foundation
      National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)  
      enGauge 21st Century Skills: Literacy in the Digital Age

      Top Technology trends
     O’Reilly Network
      Digicult: Technology Challenges for Digital Culture
      House of Commons. Committee on Science and Technology
      Project on the Future of Higher Education
      SPARC Open Access Newsletter
      Research Libraries Group
      Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America

 


     

Introduction

Environmental scanning is a term used to describe the process of collecting background information, prior to the beginning of a strategic planning process.  The background information may originate from any number of sources and is selected for the purpose of identifying those environmental factors, whether societal, political, technological, demographic or other, that are most likely to affect the planning environment.  These factors need to be considered in order to craft a strategic plan that can be launched from a relevant perspective for libraries, librarians, and the Association over the next decade.

A list of suggested links and citations is offered below.  These materials represent a rich variety of information from short articles to very long and comprehensive documents.  Their gathering and inclusion has been requested and is voluntary at the suggestion of numerous individuals--ALA members, Division leaders,staff, library consultants.  Those who submitted suggestions represent--a wide variety of individuals who have read the material listed below and have taken the time to submit it, along with their own comments for the benefit of others.  The opinions expressed in this material are solely those of the individual authors and not necessarily those of the American Library Association.  ALA is not responsible for the content or the selection.  No attempt has been made to balance the sources that have been submitted.  As a consequence many sources may appear on a single topic as a result of the enthusiasm of the contributor.  The universe of environmental scanning material is enormous.  What is offered here is a small piece of it.

 

General Overview

 
 
 
      2003 OCLC Environmental Scan: Pattern Recognition
 
 
The 2003 OCLC Environmental Scan: Pattern Recognition report was produced for OCLC's worldwide membership to examine the significant issues and trends impacting OCLC, libraries, museums, archives and other allied organizations, both now and in the future. The scan provides a high-level view of the information landscape, intended both to inform and stimulate discussion about future strategic directions.

Top

 
 
 
      From Scan to Plan: Integrating Trends into the Strategy Making Process
 
 
For 20 years, the ASAE Foundation has been the recognized leader in identifying trends and issues impacting the association community. In this fourth generation scan, "From Scan To Plan: Integrating Trends into the Strategy Making Process" the ASAE Foundation helps association executives translate issues into actions steps. Learn how to link trends directly to the strategy making process.

 

from an  AASL Executive Board member:
 
 
      Early Childhood Development
 
 

“The Economics of Early Childhood Development: Lessons for Economic Policy Conference.”  Papers from the conference on early childhood development plus links to other early childhood development websites.

Top
 
 
 
      Just in Time Research: Children, Youth & Families
 
 
From the University of Minnesota Extension Service, this paper is subtitled “Home and Community Factors that Promote Early Literacy Development for
Preschool-Aged Children.” 
 
 
 
 
      SECPTAN: State Early Childhood Policy Technical Assistance Network
 
 
School readiness and early childhood initiatives
Top
 
 
 
       National Association of Counties
 
 
(from the website):  "The National Association of Counties (NACo) was created in 1935 when county officials wanted to have a strong voice in the nation's capital. More than six decades later, NACo continues to ensure that the nation's 3066 counties are heard and understood in the White House and the halls of Congress. NACo's membership totals more than 2,000 counties, representing over 80 percent of the nation's population."
 
 
 
 
 
      National Governors Association. Center for Best Practices
 
 

Extensive material on early childhood.

Top
 
 
 
      Center for the Future of Local Governance
 
 

“On a totally different topic, but of importance to ALA is the fact that local government is redefining itself and this has significant implications for public libraries that are part of County government.  Check this site, especially  #11, mega trends redefining County government.”

 
 
 
 
      Getting Ready: School Readiness Indicators Initiative
 
 
(from the website):  "The School Readiness Indicators Initiative works with 17 states to develop a comprehensive set of school readiness indicators to inform public policy for young children and their families. This initiative is sponsored by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Ford Foundation."

 

Top

from AASL staff:
 
 
      Cable in the Classroom
 
 
 
 
      Partnership for 21st Century Skills
 
 

Top

from an ALA Executive Board Member
 
 

    Reports from the  PEW/Internet and American Life Project

 
 
The Pew Internet & American Life Project is a non-profit research center studying the social effects of the Internet on Americans.  "Several of the reports might be stimulating prep reading for participants in the September planning retreat."

Top

from ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom:
 
 
      See No Evil: How Internet Filters Affect the Search for Online Health Information
 
 
(from the website) The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation is a non-profit, private operating foundation focusing on the major health care issues facing the nation. The Foundation is an independent voice and source of facts and analysis for policymakers, the media, the health care community, and the general public.
 
 
 
      Summary Of Recent Court Rulings On Terrorism-Related Matters Having Civil Liberties Implications
 
 
Authors:  Nancy Chang, Center for Constitutional Rights (New York City) and
Alan Kabat, Bernabei & Katz, PLLC (Washington, D.C.)  March 8, 2004
Top
 
 
 
      Implications of the Broadcast Flag: A Public Interest Primer (version 2.0)
 
 
A Report of the Center for Democracy and Technology December 2003
 
 
 
      Considering Consumer Privacy
 
 
A Report from the Center for Democracy and Technology
 
 
      RFID Implementation in Libraries: Some Recommendations for "Best Practices"
Top
 
(from the website) Presentations to ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee, American Library Association, January 10, 2004, at ALA Mid-Winter, San Diego, CA.  Presenters:  Beth Givens, Director, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse; Lee Tien, Senior Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation.  Includes bibliographic rsources.
 
 
 
 
      Privacy and Security in Library RFID: Issues, Practices, and Architectures
 
 

Authors:  David Molnar and David Wagner

Top

from ALA's Public Information Office:
 
 
    ALA's Report on Library Funding in the United States
 
 
For the past year, the Public Information Office has been documenting budget cuts at libraries.  Here is a link to the budget cut web site, an example of an environmental scan going on at ALA for members. Contact PIO with any questions.

Top

from ALA's Public Information Office:
 
 
      U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
 
 

Profile of “Librarians” as a category from The Occupational Outlook Handbook

Top

from ALA's Public Programs Office:
 
 
     Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive at Princeton University
  http://www.cpanda.org
  http://www.cpanda.org/arts-culture-facts/artsorgs/cppl98.html
  http://www.cpanda.org/arts-culture-facts/audiences/participate.html
  http://www.cpanda.org/arts-culture-facts/policy/freespch.html
  http://www.cpanda.org/arts-culture-facts/policy/foundation.htm
 
 
(from PPO) “An excellent site is www.cpanda.org, the Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive at Princeton University. It contains data from ALA's 1998 survey of cultural programming for adults in public libraries as well as much other relevant data about artists, arts and cultural organizations (including libraries), audiences, and support for the arts (including freedom of expression and foundation and individual giving).”
 
 
 
    The Chronicle of Philanthropy; the Newspaper of the Nonprofit World
 
 

Top

from ALA staff:
 
 

      World Future Society website

 
 
(from the website) “The World Future Society is an association of people interested in how social and technological developments are shaping the future. The Society was founded in 1966 and is chartered as a nonprofit educational and scientific organization in Washington, D.C., U.S.A.”

Top

from an  ALSC Board Member:
 
 
      Abram, Stephen and Luther, Judy, "Born with the Chip." Library Journal, (May 1, 2004).
 
 
(from the website) “The next generation will profoundly impact both library service and the culture within the profession.”

Top

from an ASCLA Board Member:
 
 

      Marc Prensky website

 
 
(from the website)  "Marc Prensky is an internationally acclaimed speaker, writer, consultant, and designer in the critical areas of education and learning."
"My favorite articles on this site are "Twitch Speed" about young workers, "Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants" about generational differences, and "Do they REALLY think differently" about the scientific evidence that young peoples' brains are really structured differently as a result of immersion in multimedia all their lives."

Top

 
 
 
      The Gates Library Foundation
 
 
"The evaluation of the Gates Library Program, available here in several reports, shows that libraries play a critically-important role in access for low-income individuals."

Top

 
 
 
    National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Reading Panel on Teaching Children to Read.
 
 
 "The Report of the National Reading Panel on Teaching Children to Read.  Parents are their children's first teachers, yet many are unprepared to give their children the basic pre-literacy skills.  Using this information, libraries can design programs for parents and play an important role in getting children ready for school."

Top

 
 
 
    enGauge 21st Century Skills: Literacy in the Digital Age
 
 
"This site, at the North Central Regional Education Laboratory, compiles the research on digital skills necessary to survive and thrive in the 21st century.  A nice compilation of the research."

Top

from a LAMA Leader:
 
 
"Toward Equality of Access: the Role of Public Libraries in Addressing the Digital Divide"  available at
 
 
  http://www.gatesfoundation.org.
  http://www.gatesfoundation.org/Libraries/Announcements/Announce-040225.htm
 

Top

from LITA staff:
 
 
    Top Technology trends
 
 
(from the website):  "Technology and library users: LITA experts identify trends to watch-At each ALA MidWinter Conference, a group of LITA leaders who are acknowledged for their reputations and expertise in the library and information technology fields meets to hammer out what they believe to be top technology trends librarians should be watching."

Top

from a LITA Board Member:
 
 
      O’Reilly Network TM
 
 
“The Open Source movement continues to be one of the one of the most important trends related to the technical/social/economic aspects of information dissemination.  The best recent article on this topic that I know of is "The Open Source Paradigm Shift" by Tim O'Reilly.”

Top

from a LITA Leader:
 
 
    Digicult: Technology Challenges for Digital Culture
 
 
(from the website):  "Mission-Benefiting the Cultural Heritage sector, through monitoring and assessing existing and emerging technologies that provide opportunities to optimise the development, access to, and preservation of Europe's rich cultural and scientific heritage, within the emerging digital cultural economy."
 
 
 
    House of Commons. Committee on Science and Technology . 10th Report
 
 
A British perspective on open access.  The report summary begins:  “Academic libraries are struggling to purchase subscriptions to all the journal meta s needed by their users. This is due both to the high and increasing journal prices imposed by commercial publishers and the inadequacy of library budgets to meet the demands placed upon them by a system supporting an ever increasing volume of research.”
  Top
 
 
      Project on the Future of Higher Education
 
 
(from the website) “How do we enhance student learning and maintain quality faculty work-life in the midst of austere budgets?”
 
 
 
    SPARC Open Access Newsletter
 
 
Issue #77 was recommended.  The Newsletter is written by Peter Suber and covers many aspects of open access and numerous links to additional material.

Top

from a LITA Leader:
 
 
      Research Libraries Group
 
 
This site lists current research and projects at RLG.  The article suggested is at < www.rlg.org/en/page.php?Page_ID=17068>  "Computational Linguistics Meets Metadata, or the Automatic Extraction of Key Words from Full Text Content"
 
 

Top

from a library consultant:
 
 
      Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America
 
 
(from the website) "This report presents the results from the literature segment of the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, conducted by the Census Bureau in 2002 at the NEA's request. The survey asked more than 17,000 adults if during the previous 12 months they had read any novels, short stories, poetry or plays in their leisure time, that were not required for work or school. The report extrapolates and interprets data on literary reading and compares them with results from similar surveys carried out in 1982 and 1992. July 2004. 60 pp."
Top

Last update: 1/07/2008