Stephen Abram: A Last Look Ahead

Imagine a world in which information professionals can search and index images in real time, create digital asset management solutions that automatically analyze content, and search and scrape digital repositories (such as the Web). Stephen Abram imagined such a world in his first column for Information Outlook, in October 2002.

Now, roughly 12 years and 125 columns later, Stephen is still imagining new worlds for information professionals. In his latest—and, sad to say, his final—column for Information Outlook, Stephen looks at the trends he’ll be following in 2015, including the following:

  • Exploding the book format;
  • Rules around single-use print and hybrid use;
  • The ongoing merger of different media formats; and
  • The next post-retrieval phase.

Although the trends and technologies he follows have changed over the past 12 years, Stephen’s outlook has not—he is still as optimistic about the future of the information profession as he was in 2002. In his first column, he wrote that the advances occurring then were “exciting and challenging for information professionals, who set their stock in trade at being able to find and deliver the best of everything, from the past to the present.” In his final column, he writes, “Librarians are more relevant than ever . . . We improve the quality of questions. We improve the quality of decisions. We add speed to the process and align our resources with the enterprise’s needs.”

Thank you, Stephen, for 12 years of ideas, inspiration, and innovation. The information profession’s future is brighter for your efforts.

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