Trend resources from the ALA Center for the Future of Libraries

The Center for the Future of Libraries works to identify trends relevant to libraries and librarianship. This collection is available to help libraries and librarians understand how trends are developing and why they matter. Each trend is updated as new reports and articles are made available. New trends will be added as they are developed.

Trends will be organized into seven categories: Society, Technology, Education, the Environment, Politics (and Government), Economics, and Demographics (STEEPED). We have shared more information about the organization and classification of trends below.

Aging Advances Trend [Category - Demographics] Anonymity Trend [Category - Society] Artificial Intelligence Trend [Category - Technology] Badging Trend [Category - Education]

Basic Income Trend [Category - Economics] Blockchain Trend [Category - Technology] Co-Working Co-Living Trend [Category - Economics] Collective Impact Trend [Category - Society]

Connected Learning Trend [Category - Education] Connected Toys Trend [Category - Technology] Corporate Influence Trend [Category - Politics & Government] Creative Placemaking Trend [Category - Society]

Data Everywhere Trend [Category - Technology] Design Thinking Trend [Category - Education] Digital Natives Trend [Category - Demographics] Drones Trend [Category - Technology]

Emerging Adulthood Trend [Category - Demographics] Experiential Retail Trend [Category - Society] Facial Recognition Trend [Category - Technology] Fandom Trend [Category - Society]

Fast Casual Trend [Category - Society] Flipped Learning Trend [Category - Education] Gamification Trend [Category - Education] Haptic Technology Trend [Category - Technology]

Income Inequality Trend [Category - Economics] Internet of Things Trend [Category - Technology] Maker Movement Trend [Category - Society] Micro-Mobility Trend [Category - Society]

Privacy Shifting Trend [Category - Society] Resilience Trend [Category - The Environment] Rethinking Rural Trend [Category - Demographics] Robots Trend [Category - Technology]

Self-Driving Cars Trend [Category - Technology] Sharing Economy Trend [Category - Economics] Short Reading Trend [Category - Society] Smart Cities Trend [Category - Politics and Government]

Subscription Boxes Trend [Category - Society] Unplugged Trend [Category - Technology] Urbanization Trend [Category - Demographics] Virtual Reality Trend [Category - Technology]

Voice Control Trend [Category - Technology] Worker Activism Trend [Category - Technology]

Organization and Classification of Trends

Many futurists and trend scanners encourage the organizing or classifying of trends to help improve our understanding of trends, piece them together, and to ensure a broad view of the trends shaping our world. The DEGEST method of classification (Demography, Economy, Government, Environment, Society, and Technology) is among the most popular. For our purposes, we have expanded the classification to include Education as its own category and have re-labeled to form the acronym STEEPED: Society [red], Technology [light blue], Education [dark blue], the Environment [green], Politics & Government [orange], Economics [purple], and Demographics [yellow]. Each trend icon is color-coded to a category per the key below:

Trend Categories - Society [Red] Trend Categories - Technology [Light Blue] Trend Categories - Education [Dark Blue] Trend Categories - The Environment [Green]

Trend Categories - Politics & Government [Orange] Trend Categories - Economics [Purple] Trend Categories - Demographics [Yellow]