Libraries are no stranger to change. As community expectations shift, so do our libraries. This adaptability was on full display during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. But as that pressure has subsided, we’re seeing widespread reflection around what libraries will look like in the future. Many library leaders are thinking about fundamental transformations, with the goal of creating a more impactful library experience for their users.
During the past year, OCLC Global Council and OCLC Research explored the idea of the changing library experience by focusing on topics such as community engagement, collaboration, and innovative programs that meet library users’ evolving needs and expectations. Planning for this work was informed by efforts associated with our New Model Library: Pandemic Effects and Library Directions research. And it was accomplished through online thought leadership webinars and a global survey that spanned all library sizes and types. What we learned is that libraries will continue to be necessary infrastructure for supporting local communities. And to deliver impact, there’s increasing need for partnership