Far future of libraries


Business Insider's Chris Weller asked me to draw from our work at Institute for the Future, where I'm a research director, to take a long-distance look at the far future of what libraries could become:

In 50 years' time, Pescovitz tells Business Insider, libraries are poised to become all-in-one spaces for learning, consuming, sharing, creating, and experiencing — to the extent that enormous banks of data will allow people to "check out" brand-new realities, whether that's scaling Mt. Everest or living out an afternoon as a dog....


The definition of a library is already changing.


Some libraries have 3D printers and other cutting-edge tools that makes them not just places of learning, but creation. "I think the library as a place of access to materials, physical and virtual, becomes increasingly important," Pescovitz says. People will come to see libraries as places to create the future, not just learn about the present.


Pescovitz offers the example of genetic engineering, carried out through "an open-source library of genetic parts that can be recombined in various way to make new organisms that don't exist in nature."


"Libraries of the future are going to change in some unexpected ways" (Business Insider)




(image: "The Long Room of the Old Library at Trinity College Dublin")