The Association of College & Research Libraries's Planning and Review Committee has posted what a February survey of the literature and of its members reveals as the top ten trends affecting libraries "now and in the near future." They list them in alphabetical order:
Academic library collection growth is driven by patron demand and will include new resource types.
Budget challenges will continue and libraries will evolve as a result.
Changes in higher education will require that librarians possess diverse skill sets.
Demands for accountability and assessment will increase.
Digitization of unique library collections will increase and require a larger share of resources.
Explosive growth of mobile devices and applications will drive new services.
Increased collaboration will expand the role of the library within the institution and beyond.
Libraries will continue to lead efforts to develop scholarly communication and intellectual property services
Technology will continue to change services and required skills.
The definition of the library will change as physical space is repurposed and virtual space expands.
Hard to argue with anything on that list, beyond alphabetizing on the word "the" 🙂 Some of the items seem to bury the lede a bit, though. For example, access to digitized, full-text sources shows up at the end of the first point on the list. Under that same point, "the effect of Google Books on library collections" shows up at the end in a comma-separated list of "additional collection development trends."
One point that the Lab is particularly interested in that didn't make it explicitly onto the list: The rise in value of library metadata. There's tons of it around. It can be of incredible and continuing use to anyone trying to find or understand items in (or linked to) collections of all sorts. Library metadata is going to be big! Big, we tell you!