The ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee has recently released their biennial report on Top Trends in Academic Libraries. Although it’s written by a US-based organisation, I think that the trends they identified are still relevant to Australian academic libraries (and possibly libraries in other sectors, too). The one unifying theme that emerged from the committee’s research was “deeper collaboration”. They then broke that theme down into some specific examples:
- Device neutral digital services
- Evolving openness in higher education
- Student success initiatives
- Competency-based learning
- Digital humanities
I agree with the idea that collaboration has become more common among academic libraries in recent years, and that the examples above do reflect current trends. We’re lucky in Australia that we’re able to work with the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) to help us with our support of research data. The emergence of MOOCs is one example of the increasing openness within the higher education sector, but Open Access journals as well as Open Education Resources (OER) are also contributing to this. Librarians are sometimes asked to provide advice to academics on which resources they can use to teach a MOOC. As far as altmetrics go, they are certainly an area that is becoming more relevant to the work of academic librarians, as we are often asked to help academics decipher the various measures of research impact that have been developed. It will be interesting to see what is on the list of trends in two years time.