If you happened to look over the just released ACRL Environmental Scan 2007 it may have looked familiar. That’s because it is a beefier version of the previously released “Top Ten Assumptions About the Future” which came out around the end of March (there was a session about the assumptions at ACRL in Baltimore). And if you are a regular ACRLog reader you saw a post about the top ten assumptions back in April of 2007.
Actually, once you get into the report you’ll still come across the top ten list, but each of the assumptions is somehwhat enhanced so that the descriptions are more robust. As I said the first time these ten items came up for discussion, it isn’t exactly an “Oh wow” kind of moment. But in the new report the additional content helps to build a better case for why we need to pay attention to these issues. I think the environmental scan will provide a good source of conversation among academic librarians about the issues. They may not seem earth shattering, but they clearly offer some fundamental issues that matter in all our libraries and will impact our user communities. I’m also planning to make it an early semester reading for my academic library services course students. It will help to bring them up to speed quickly on some of the significant challenges facing the profession. It will also provide them with lots of good additional readings (check out the references the report provides).
Interestingly enough, the whole scanning process is entering a new cycle. If you are interested in sharing your thoughts about what we as librarians need to pay attention to – as well as what ACRL needs to focus on as an organization – in our next top ten assumptions and environmental scan, take this new Annual Assumptions survey. I just completed the survey and it took about 15 minutes. This is an easy way you can have a say in identifying the next set of top ten assumptions.