Library of the Future Blog

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This week’s subject line is excerpted from Steven Pearlstein’s article “Meet the parents who won’t let their children study literature” in The Washington Post.

Read more | 09/06/2016 - 10:03

This week’s subject line is excerpted from a letter sent to University of Chicago students by Dean of Students Jay Ellison, a letter whose blunt assertion of existing university policies refocused attention on the debate over trigger warnings, safe spaces, and campus speech. Libraries matter in that debate and a host of other news items featured this week, from subscription service exclusives like Frank Ocean’s much anticipated album Blond to the blurring line between brick and mortar and online services exemplified by Walmart, Home Depot, and YouTube’s new Creator Store.

Read more | 08/29/2016 - 16:29

I’m a day late this week – I'm blaming it on some travel yesterday – but I hope that this week's scan will still prove useful. This week’s post leads with a quote from an article in The Verge detailing an experience many of us have had: searching for something online with only the smallest details of what we are looking for. This week also sees articles about autonomous cars, crime at big box stores, and continuing concern for harassment in online spaces.   

Read more | 08/23/2016 - 18:54

The title of this week’s post comes from a quote by a New York Times editor, featured in a CNN article included below, explaining their decision to use text messaging as a reporting option from the Olympic Games. It’s a sentiment that will likely resonate with many library professionals who have adapted and innovated services to stay relevant with user needs and interests.

Read more | 08/15/2016 - 15:23

The title of this week’s post comes from a fascinating article from The Guardian that considers the role of fact-checking websites (e.g. snopes.com) in what is increasingly considered a post-truth era. "Everything is pouring through" could also serve as a reminder of the many streams that can influence our future - trends in content, demographics, education, spaces, the list goes on.

Read more | 08/08/2016 - 17:43

This week brought out some of my favorite topics. An interesting piece on interactive and web-connected toys. A string of articles on hotels (Marriott), retailers (Sephora), and grocery stores that shows how relationships with customers are changing. A look at how our traditional notions of masculinity might be upended – in this case, by the growing popularity of K-pop bands. A shout-out to Phoenix, where new efforts to increase tree shade likely won’t have materialized by the time I head there in a few weeks.

Read more | 08/01/2016 - 15:38

No shortage of news this week. Leslie Jones’ experience on Twitter illustrated the truly awful harassment that can be experienced on social media – an incident that will hopefully lead to greater support for those who experience harassment and more careful consideration for how the community constructs itself. There was quite a bit about publishing this week, including some interesting stories about romance writers, indie presses, and one hour book delivery.

Read more | 07/25/2016 - 18:47

We only teased Pokémon Go last week, but with more time behind us we take a closer look at some of the popular game’s implications for augmented reality, physical spaces, and the demographic categories it may exclude. Additionally, national and international politics provide opportunities to consider the implications of social media and live streaming for sharing news and content. Along the way, some news about the sharing economy, internet filtering, and what the popularity of headphones might say about us.   

Read more | 07/18/2016 - 18:05

This may not go well. As many of us have likely observed, the violence and tragedy that dominated much of this past week’s news cycle intersected with many of the trends that this newsletter has been following – live streaming, citizen journalism, robotics, and the ethical responsibilities of social media platforms.

Read more | 07/11/2016 - 17:39

A slight slowdown in the pace of news this holiday weekend. This post feels somewhat shorter than those in recent weeks. But a good variety of news, everything from chatbots that fight parking tickets, to adults returning to summer camp, new support for citizen journalists, and an important focus on homelessness in the bay area and throughout our nation.

Read more | 07/04/2016 - 13:14

I’m a day late, but hopefully not content short. It was a bit of a scramble this week to scan and synthesize some very interesting news on everything from new live streaming options to new coding and computer science education sources in between meetings and programs at ALA's Annual Conference in Orlando. I'm hoping to get back on schedule next week.

Read more | 06/28/2016 - 17:04

Streaming seemed to be a pretty dominant theme in this week’s news – the growing influence of Netflix, changes to the Grammy Awards, and a Broadway show moves online. There were also individual stories that point to big changes – researchers consider what trees will flourish (or decline) in the future; our understanding of gender continues to evolve; and our food habits see a major shift.  

Read more | 06/20/2016 - 16:20

I’ll admit that it’s hard to think about the future when we are confronted by very difficult realities in our present. The tragedy in Orlando has made me think of many things, but, from a futures perspective, it reminds me that we will achieve nothing if we cannot find ways to constructively include, celebrate, and respect our collective diversity. It’s the only way we will construct positive futures.  

Read more | 06/13/2016 - 17:19

This week’s (or past two weeks’) mix includes insights from Mary Meeker’s 2016 internet trends report, two interesting reports from Pew Research Center (addressing social media as a news source and 18-to-34 year-olds living at home), and some really great recognition for libraries and librarians. You can always check out the Center's trend collection to see how this scanning comes together to identify trends relevant to our future work.

Read more | 06/07/2016 - 01:01

This week’s mix includes announcements from Google’s I/O developer conference (the Google assistant, Allo and Duo, Home, and Daydream) that advance trends in artificial intelligence, encryption, and virtual reality.

Read more | 05/23/2016 - 17:44