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ARL, CNI, EDUCAUSE Release Final Report on Landscape of Emerging Technologies in Research Libraries

emerging technology graphic
image © iStock.com/NicoElNino

Today the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), and EDUCAUSE released their final report on Mapping the Current Landscape of Research Library Engagement with Emerging Technologies in Research and Learning.

Part of the ARL, CNI, and EDUCAUSE joint initiative to advance research libraries’ impact in a world shaped by emerging technologies, this report by Sarah Lippincott identifies strategic opportunities for research libraries to adopt and engage with emerging technologies, with a roughly five-year time horizon. Lippincott considers the ways in which research library values and professional expertise inform and shape this engagement, the ways library and library worker roles will be reconceptualized, and the implication of a range of technologies on how the library fulfills its mission. Conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic, this study is an excellent resource for research libraries as they identify strategic opportunities to adopt and engage with emerging technologies.

The report concludes that “emerging technologies…have prompted libraries to adapt their historical roles as trusted stewards, educators, and curators to suit an academic environment and a society driven by digital data, marked by distributed collaboration, and contending with the challenges of misinformation, white supremacy culture, and a global pandemic…. Research libraries can bring values-based decision-making to bear as they find the right balance in their approach to adopting and experimenting with emerging technologies—the balance between agility and sustainability, convenience and privacy, transformation and persistence.”

The report was originally published in installments between March and November 2020. The final publication released today includes a concluding section on the implications of COVID-19, as well as a glossary of terms related to the context and use of emerging technologies in libraries.


About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in Canada and the US whose mission is to advance research, learning, and scholarly communication. The Association fosters the open exchange of ideas and expertise; advances diversity, equity, and inclusion; and pursues advocacy and public policy efforts that reflect the values of the library, scholarly, and higher education communities. ARL forges partnerships and catalyzes the collective efforts of research libraries to enable knowledge creation and to achieve enduring and barrier-free access to information. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.