We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations. -Anaïs Nin
I am certainly not inherently prescient, but I think there may be assumptions made about the future of digital collections. Here, a classmate offers some insight to their future. My viewpoint is informed by the SCONUL (The Society of College, National and University Libraries) vision 2010 that I read while studying for comps. In particular, I believe that their forecast of personalization and collaboration can be applied to digital collections and that personalization is somewhat adjacent to my classmate’s third point. He states, “the survivors [surviving digital collections] will serve specific needs.” SCONUL envisions:
“There will be a continuing trend towards the personalisation of systems and services (to the individual and to communities of users). This trend will be influenced and assisted by better customer relationship management and by the facilities offered by ICT. Individuals will have better access to electronic content, with access centred on communities of interest based on work, leisure, formal and informal e-learning and lifestyle. People will move seamlessly from one community to another…A pro-active approach to service delivery will seek to meet individual profiles and to push services out to users.”
On this basis, digital collections may become more focused, centering on and serving a niche audience, an audience that designates an interest in certain materials and a desire for their ongoing, personalized delivery.
And, as we see today, collaboration is increasingly important in the digitization and presentation of objects. SCONUL recognizes that:
“There will be greater collaboration across sectors and domains and between global communities. Resources for lifelong learners will be in increasing demand and will be facilitated by this collaboration. Increased emphasis will be placed on providing support for those who have difficulty accessing digital resources, and smaller organisations will collaborate with each other and with larger organisations in order to ensure that they have the capacity to develop ICT services and infrastructures.”
In this way, collaboration enables both digitization and discovery. By working together, we are able to increase access to and use of our collections.