A few times I have written about & linked to Marshall Breeding's excellent site called Library Technology Guides. Breeding keeps track of library automation issues, writes great articles on a range of topics for the American Library Journal and also does some general forecasting regarding trends. His 2014 trends paper published here on Information Today's site talks about what is trending for 2014 & makes for interesting reading. I would recommend poking around on the Breeding site as it contains lots of very useful information.
Breeding's 2014 forecasts include some interesting background information on the development of consortia around the world, as well as progress on the vexed issue of seamlessly integrating e-book lending into library discovery layers. It is well worth a read in the context of both what we're doing consortium-wise and the struggles we're having regarding seamless access to e-books. However it looks like this is a problem that we may have an answer to very soon. Watch this space!!
Another couple of articles worth looking at include one about the thinking behind the transformation of the Chattanooga Public Library - with funds and a space of 1,300 sq M quickly shifting from "really high end research materials" to a maker space with laser and vinyl cutters, sewing machines and the obligatory 3D printers.
Here is an interesting quote about the philosophy driving this change:
“With this space, what we’re trying to do is acknowledge that access to the commons is no longer a read-only environment,” says Meg Backus, who runs the library’s fourth floor.
Backus says libraries should find instruction in the evolution of the Internet—which started as a place to post static pages and now is a thoroughly collaborative environment. “There needs to be production capabilities for true access to happen,” she says. “That means the ability to create a video, the ability to learn how to make a website, to have access to the software that can create these 3-D files.”
An interesting article about sharing all sorts of items and skills to save money includes reference to an inner-suburban Tool Library in Melbourne's Brunswick. This is an interesting concept & may be something that a local library may want to consider. I know that I'd be a customer if it was fairly close to home.