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Library 2050

Chris Batt

Introduction

‘Walk out with me toward the Unknown Region … no map there nor guide’.1

We cannot know the future. We cannot even be certain that libraries have a future beyond the next few years. We may believe they will remain of high value to society, but that belief alone gives no guarantee of survival. I cannot show you a picture of what Library 2050 will look like, but I will suggest ways to map the route; to demonstrate new approaches to sustaining long-term value in our evolving society. To do this I will consider the future for libraries and information services through the lens of my PhD research,2 begun during 2009. The research is a comparative study of traditional policies and practices for collecting, ...

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