Highways and byways: future directions for Australian public libraries

Ellen O'Hehir, Sue Reynolds

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    It is important for libraries to confront and successfully adapt for the future
    needs of users in a world which is continually and rapidly changing. The Australian Library and Information Association believes that Australian libraries are part of a worldwide network of libraries and that the future success of Australia’s public library networks will be determined in part by the future successes, or failures, of public libraries on a global scale. In order to do the planning required, libraries in Australia and internationally are envisioning their future. This research analysed a range of forecasting reports in order to identify the themes and trends that are most likely to have an impact on how Australian public library services are offered, operated, funded and used into the future, a future which is in flux and uncertain. A range of published documents address the predicted future of libraries. These documents cover various time spans, from 2012 out to 2030, and vary in their predictions. The intent of this research project was to map the themes determined from the individual published documents in varying contexts (date span and geographic location) to produce an overview of convergence and divergence. The reports examined are not an exhaustive coverage of the literature that currently exists on the topic of the future of Australian public libraries, let alone the future of libraries generally on a global scale, but the results of the project indicate both agreement and disagreement, enabling a wider view than might be seen by individual organisations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)308 - 320
    Number of pages13
    JournalAustralian Library Journal
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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