GTFS: Global Trends and Future Scenarios Index

Scenarios beyond 2020


The academic libraries of the future project (LotF) has developed three scenarios which describe possible futures for teaching, academic and research libraries in the UK at some point beyond 2020, particularly in the context of the changing academic and technological landscape. The scenarios will help Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and other organisations look at the challenges faced from a fresh perspective and help them formulate strategies to ensure the sector continues to be a leading global force.

Libraries are fundamental to academic learning, teaching and research. However, the world is, and will continue to be, a constantly changing place. Uncertainties for the long-term future include: how UK Higher Education (HE) will be funded and operated; how information will be created, discovered, accessed and managed; how learning, teaching and research will evolve to take best advantage of improvements in Information and Communications Technology (ICT); the information needs of users for learning, teaching and research, the knowledge economy, and students and researchers as ‘consumers’. The fundamental question is how to plan for libraries to meet these potentially disruptive challenges.

This document sets out the three scenarios developed in LotF and provides a structured comparison of the scenarios which focuses on the library aspects. This is aimed at those wishing to understand and use the scenarios for strategic planning.