What Will the Future Feel Like?

Many libraries and information centers are dispensing with printed materials in favor of online resources, but that doesn’t mean they can no longer offer a tangible, tactile experience to their users. Touch-enabled tables and walls, interactive installations, and related technologies are making inroads into libraries, museums, and other such spaces, as revealed by presentations from Susan Berstler, Chris Erdmann, and several others at LIBERACT 2014, an “unconference” held earlier this year at the University of Calgary.

These new technologies aren’t the only changes that will make libraries and information centers of the future “feel” different than they do now. The information resources space of today will be replaced by the learning, data analysis, meeting/collaboration, and search technology space of tomorrow, according to Jennifer Swanson, a senior market analyst at Draper Laboratory in Massachusetts. The information professionals who manage these spaces will still need traditional library skills as well as analysis, marketing, business intelligence, and critical thinking skills, to name just a few.

To learn more about the visions of Susan, Chris, and Jennifer, read the July-August issue of Information Outlook.

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