New Horizons in the Hyperlinked Library

Trying to keep up with technology changes and applying them to our work as Librarians strikes me as quite daunting. How do we stay ahead of user needs without investing in bleeding edge technology that will be obsolete next year? Spotting trends and evaluating what will work in specific communities is a skill we should all cultivate. In The Puzzle Librarians Need to Solve, Lee Rainie gives us a framework of questions we need to ask and answer in order to remain relevant for our library users:

  1. What is the future of knowledge?
  2. What is the future of reference expertise?
  3. What is the future of public technology and community anchor institutions?
  4. What is the future of learning spaces?
  5. What is the future of attention?
  6. Where does your organization fall in the continuum of providing these things to your constituents?

And then Rainie gives us answers from the Pew Research Center Reports on Library Users. The responses that were collected in this research point us in the right direction for developing significant programming and formatting technology policies that will speak to our customer’s needs. Continuing to provide lifelong learning, collaboration with existing community entities, teaching new information literacy, enabling users to create, and cultivating the library as a learning center are all bigger ideas that the author leads us to with the support of the user data. At the end of the presentation, we are given a bibliography in the form of books on library and technology trends that apply to each of the above questions.

This presentation does much to assuage my anxiety on trendspotting. But, just like Raine tells us in the end of the slideshow, there will be homework.



Rainie, L. (2016, February 9). The Puzzles Librarians Need to Solve – Vala 2016. Retrieved April 09, 2017, from

Zickuhr, K., Purcell, K., & Rainie, L. (2014, March 13). From Distant Admirers to Library Lovers–and beyond. Retrieved April 09, 2017, from

1 Thought.

  1. I am glad the work from Rainie and Pew helped your thoughts about trendspotting. The questions he asked to frame the presentation really get me thinking – especially the one addressing attention.

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