The IFLA 2017 Trend Report Update

Libraries have a vital mission to provide access to information to all. In a changing world, this work is essential, allowing users to be informed, and empowered to build better lives for themselves and their communities. But libraries in turn also need to understand the forces that are shaping their environment, in order to seize the opportunities – and avoid the threats – that this presents.

The IFLA Trend Report, initially published in 2013, started a conversation. By giving everyone in the library and information sector a range of expert opinions on broad social, economic and technological trends, it posed a question: how do such developments effect their lives, works and institutions? The 2016 Update of the report showed just some of the rich discussions that took place, as IFLA members explored the answers.

Now, in 2017, we are very happy to share an updated report, bringing in three further expert perspectives. Based on interventions at the 2017 IFLA President’s meeting, they pose three more questions:

  1. How might libraries incorporate revolutionary 3D printing techniques into their offer?
  2. How should libraries respond to the urgent need to provide education for all?
  3. How can libraries compete with the huge volumes of misinformation that the Internet makes it possible to create and share?

The papers highlight threats, but also opportunities. Most importantly, they give food for thought. IFLA invites its members and the broader community to read the papers, reflect on them, and talk about what can – or needs to – be done. We look forward to hearing about where you get to! 

Read the IFLA 2017 Trend Report Update [PDF]