LAUW Journal Club

August meeting – recap!

August 5, 2010 · 2 Comments

Thanks to everyone who came out to LAUW’s first journal club meeting. It was a small group to start (a grand total of five), but we’re confident that our numbers will increase as the vacation season dwindles. It’s hard to believe that people would want to take vacation though when they could be discussing important publications, like…

Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians: Higher Education in 2025,” an ACRL report prepared by Dr. David J. Stanley and Kara J. Malenfant.


This was the report selected and discussed by librarians at today’s meeting. As the title suggests, it’s a report to get librarians thinking about possible “futures” that could affect higher education and academic libraries over the next 15 years. It includes 26 scenarios created by forecasting current trends in a wide range of areas (distance ed, technology, publishing, to name a few).

Discussion focused primarily on the first 8 scenarios (an hour goes by too quickly), with the most enthusiasm expressed for the scenario “Everyone is a ‘non-traditional’ student” and what possibilities this could create for redefining students’ learning paths.

The group also considered which of the scenarios seemed most probable for the University of Waterloo. We agreed that we’re already seeing evidence of several scenarios (“Breaking the textbook monopoly,” “Design for disability,” “Bridging the scholar / practitioner divide”) and that others would be improbable for Waterloo (“Creative conscription” – as if!).

In the last five minutes of the meeting, we realized that we still had 18 scenarios to get through, so we quickly scanned the remainder and enjoyed a brief mention of the “Woven learning” scenario where “Learning spaces are transformed so that students can smell census data in an olfactory economics classroom or hear a symphony of health statistics in a medical auditorium.” Isn’t the future looking [fantastic OR weird]?

Overall, it was a great first meeting. We hope to see everyone out next time!

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2 responses so far ↓

  •   Laura H. // Aug 6th 2010 at 8:48 am

    Thanks for the discussion everyone. The future of the library is something that everyone wonders about and this article was great for articulating some great and not so great possibilities. It made wondering ‘what’ change to wondering ‘when.’ It really brought to light the idea that if we look at (scan) the present environment we can make some pretty decent predictions about the future environment.

  •   Zsuzsanna Lancsak // Aug 6th 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Too bad that I couldn’t participate due to my desk schedule and unfortunately, I will be away in September as well. But … “students can smell census data in an olfactory economics classroom or hear a symphony of health statistics in a medical auditorium” — wow!, sounds like witchcraft. 🙂

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