OCLC Redefining the Library

Redefining the Library Experience

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, Joanne Cantrell, Peggy Gallagher, Lesley A. Langa, and Christina Rodriques. Redefining the library experience: Findings from the 2023 OCLC Global Council Survey. Dublin, OH: OCLC Research. https://doi.org/10.25333/nzn0-xx63

OCLC Research and Global Council conducted an online survey of libraries throughout the world from 9 January – 31 March 2023. This was the first year the survey was translated into multiple languages: Dutch, English, German, International French, International Spanish, and Italian...A total of 1,627 respondents from 77 countries/territories completed or partially completed the survey. 

As noted in OCLC's Next blog post, "a handful of findings stand out regarding changing library experiences. These include:

  • Libraries will increasingly play the role of “space providers”
  • Demand for open access in academic libraries will intensify
  • Resource sharing through consortia will increase
  • Partnerships with nonprofit and government agencies will increase for public libraries
  • Academic librarians expect increased partnerships with consortia and other libraries
  • Library workers may see more flexible working options and access to mental health care
  • Additional need for data analytics is expected"

As noted in the blog posting, one of the survey's most striking findings has to do with use of library spaces:

Not only did respondents and webinar participants indicate an even more diverse array of uses for their spaces, but they also mentioned an increased need for flexibility. In fact, 31 percent of survey respondents said they’d like their library to be described as a “flexible space” 10 years from now.

Respondents were also asked how spaces in their library designed for meetings or collaborative work might change. Nearly 60 percent of respondents anticipate an increase in this type of physical space in the next five to ten years. 

Clicking on the DOI link above or in the tweet displayed below will take readers to the full text report.