New Wine, New Wineskins Joseph McDonald
The future of academic libraries, never far from professional concerns, is now engaging librarian thought and speculation with what seems an unusual intensity and urgency. In 2010, the Association of College and Research Libraries (Staley and Malefant 2010) presented twenty-four scenarios for the
possible state and condition of academic libraries in the next fifteen to twenty years. These addressed many possible futures based on an equally daunting set of assumptions. A discussion of them and the process by which the assumptions and scenarios were derived is beyond the scope of this article. Nevertheless, a brief description of the ones understood to be the most likely to occur seems useful and will be a foil against which an alternative understanding of the library’s future can be presented.