Alternative Futures for Academic Libraries

by David J. Staley & Kara J. Malenfant


This work summarizes key findings of a futures research project conducted in Spring 2010 for the Association of College and Research Libraries. The researchers created 26 short scenarios on the future of higher education and surveyed academic librarians about their perceptions of probability, impact, speed of change, and threat/opportunity potential of each scenario. They aggregated the judgment of this large group and situated the responses in a “scenario space” visualization tool, which encourages and manages collective imagination.

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