Looking to the future – 2013 Horizon Report

The Horizon Report 2013 Higher Education Edition has been out for a bit now and I admit that I await its predictions with keen interest.

Although aimed at the academic sector, I have still found it a valuable insight into what could be coming up for libraries, including public libraries.

This year’s is no different.

The short-term forecast (1 year or less) was for MOOCs – massively open online courses and Tablet Computing. We are definitely seeing huge growth in the latter in our libraries and are moving in that direction ourselves. MOOCs on the otherhand are still very new overall and we have yet to look at their impact on us, or how we could tap into something similar for our own education purposes, whether they be staff or our users.

The mid-term forecast (2-3 years) was for Games and gamification and learning analytics. Again the former is probably more applicable to public libraries than the latter, but it is helpful to know what it is on the horizon and to at least be aware of it. As with anything though, even if it doesn’t exactly fit your audience, there may be some aspect or variation that could be made which would exactly suit our audience, so it is worth the time to investigate.

The long-term forecast (4-5) years is 3D Printing and Wearable technology and these are definitely applicable to public libraries. I am quite excited about the potential of 3d printing for all and keen to have libraries help to introduce it to our users and give them access to this technology, in the same way that we have and still do give access to the internet. Wearable technology is happening in a way already, with no outfit complete without the smart phone being secreted somewhere, but with Google Glasses making a big splash, its well worth keeping an eye on.

Check out the Horizon report at http://www.nmc.org/publications/2013-horizon-report-higher-ed.

Would love to hear where you are your library are with these technologies. Which of these technologies are already on your library’s radar? How do you anticipate them being used and when?