What Will Libraries of the Future Look Like?

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“The term hybrid library is not a new one in the lexicon of academic librarians. Indeed, it has been synonymous with the identity of the modern academic library for over two decades now – a mid-point in the transition of academic libraries from tangible places in which traditional, print-based materials are acquired and made available, to fully digital spaces acting as gateways to networked resources (Oppenheim and Smithson, 1999). Arguably, current ‘state of the art’ academic libraries remain emblematic of the hybrid library. The new Main Library at the University of Birmingham where I work, for example, opened in September 2016 and offers patrons access to both print and digital resources, with technology-enabled public spaces offered alongside a Research Reserve dedicated to the print body of our research collection (University of Birmingham, 2017).”

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