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ARL, CNI, EDUCAUSE Release Report on Future Scenarios for Research Libraries and Emerging Technologies

emerging technology graphic
image © iStock.com/NicoElNino

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), and EDUCAUSE published today a report on two invitational workshops with experts in learning and research applications of emerging technologies. The workshops, held this spring, focused on identifying likely futures for partnerships with libraries.

Future Themes and Forecasts for Research Libraries and Emerging Technologies, written by ARL visiting program officer Scout Calvert, synthesizes the work of the 27 workshop participants and presents key findings and post-workshop commentary. Calvert notes that, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which loomed over the workshop discussions, “participants were largely, if guardedly, optimistic and determined.” She reports “research libraries are viewed as ready partners” in working with emerging technologies for learning and research because libraries “are already engaged in activities that pertain to information literacy, data, and technology use.” Workshop participants expect fiscal constraints will make cross-department and cross-institution collaboration even more attractive. Calvert concludes, “Current events largely amplify pressures and opportunities for research libraries to mindfully and collaboratively adopt and shape emerging technologies to advance the mission in support of learning and research.”

This work is part of a joint ARL-CNI-EDUCAUSE initiative to advance research libraries’ impact in a world shaped by emerging technologies. In March 2020, the initiative published Emerging Technologies for Research and Learning: Interviews with Experts. Throughout the spring and summer, the initiative has been releasing installments of Mapping the Current Landscape of Research Library Engagement with Emerging Technologies in Research and Learning, which will be published in its entirety in the coming months.


About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 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, promotes equity and diversity, 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.

About the Coalition for Networked Information

The Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) is a joint program of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and EDUCAUSE that promotes the use of information technology to advance scholarship and education. Some 240 organizations representing higher education, publishing, information technology, scholarly and professional organizations, foundations, and libraries and library organizations, make up CNI’s members. Learn more at www.cni.org.


EDUCAUSE is a community of IT leaders and professionals working together to tackle challenges and leverage opportunities that are constantly evolving within higher education. EDUCAUSE welcomes diversity, in viewpoints and experience, and believes in the transformative power of uncommon thinking for the common good. Visit www.educause.edu.

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