Technology Research Education Commerce
As the 21st century has seen the old world become entwined with the new age of information technologies, thus the traditional methods of gathering data and scholastic research been changing.
The United States federal government has made predictions that forecast how the arrival of technology will affect the fate of libraries soon. Based on most scenarios this impact will happen over the next two to three decades. The shifts in the usage of libraries and their employees will be felt in the next fifteen years or less and they are going to effect libraries all over the world by then. Modern librarians are asking themselves how they will continue to be relevant in the educational system of tomorrow.
There have been shifts in the overall academic requirements for the librarian skillset that includes network administration and technical support. This philosophical changing of the guard will eventually transform the role of academic librarian into a kind of technical support assistance and operations specialist. In addition to reference information the new world librarians will need to provide the public with internet access, computers interfaces, smartphone uplink, equipment assistance, laptop rental and network hub administration.
The transition has already been here essentially, thanks to the investment of equipment and infrastructure, but more likely because the two or three big computer companies knew to market toward the schools. This was a carefully calculated tactic that took a great deal of cooperation from the businesses in information technology and also from private community level. With this change in the structure of our future libraries comes wider alteration in how they serve the public, as a whole.
For many academic librarians their jobs security with local universities or city libraries are no longer guaranteed. The current recession has caused a decrease in funding of libraries nationally. This has led to cuts in operational budgets, reduction in funds for materials and reductions in employee hours. In addition to budget cuts in the federal funding, there have been regular decreases in salaries, hiring freezes for most seasonal staff and greatly reduction of library programming. It seems that promoting technology is profitable than promoting literacy by keeping libraries open to the public.
These scenarios are based on current trends in the schools and universities of higher education worldwide. This is not an optimistic view point, but it has to do with the way technology has modified our access to knowledge. Books and standard teaching has begun changing due to the internet, computers, social networking, robotics, virtual reality, WiFi access and artificial intelligence. Technology has dramatically altered where we learn and how we learn.