The 2015 Horizon Project Library Expert Panel has just concluded their voting and the results are in! We now have the official list of six key trends, six significant challenges, and six developments in technology that will appear in the upcoming NMC Horizon Report > 2015 Library Edition. This project is a collaborative effort between the NMC, University of Applied Sciences (HTW) Chur, Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB) Hannover, and ETH-Bibliothek Zurich.

We are interested in learning about any kind of pilot programs or innovative projects happening at your library in any of the 18 areas listed below. Our goal is to help readers understand the potential impact of these topics and their applications on academic and research libraries across the globe.

Here are the 18 areas identified for this inaugural report. For more information, including an overview of each topic, visit the Horizon Project wiki, where all of the preliminary work was done by the expert panel.

I.  Key Trends Accelerating Technology Adoption

Long-Term Impact: Driving technology adoption in academic and research libraries for five or more years
• Increasing Accessibility of Research Content
• Rethinking Library Spaces

Mid-Term Impact: Driving technology adoption in academic and research libraries over the next three to five years
• Evolving Nature of the Scholarly Record
• Increasing Focus on Research Data Management for Publications

Short-Term Impact: Driving technology adoption in academic and research libraries over the next one to two years
• Increasing Value of the User Experience
• Prioritization of Mobile Content and Delivery

View overviews of each trend.

II.  Significant Challenges Impeding Technology Adoption

Solvable Challenges: Those which we both understand and know how to solve
• Embedding Academic and Research Libraries in the Curriculum
• Improving Digital Literacy

Difficult Challenges: Those we understand but for which solutions are elusive
• Competition from Alternative Avenues of Discovery
• Rethinking the Roles and Skills of Librarians

Wicked Challenges: Those that are complex to even define, much less address
• Embracing the Need for Radical Change
• Managing Knowledge Obsolescence

View overviews of each challenge.

III.  Important Developments in Technology for Academic and Research Libraries

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less
• Makerspaces
• Online Learning

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years
• Information Visualization
• Semantic Web and Linked Data

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years
• Location Intelligence
• Machine Learning

View overviews of each development.

We know a number of innovative libraries and library professionals are already working in many of these areas, and those are the very efforts we want to highlight. in addition to best practice examples we are also interested in examples of policy innovation and leadership.  Each of our trends and challenges will be examined for implication in all three of these areas: policy, leadership, and practice. Of special interest are any activities that have a significant web presence so that a URL might be included in the report.

How to Participate
If you know of examples we could include, please use the brief web form at to tell us about them. We ask for a title, a URL, and a one- or two-sentence description; you also will need to select which of the 18 topics your example falls under. The process takes about five minutes.

We hope to have your examples by Monday, July 20, 2015, but no matter what, we’d love to hear about what you are doing! All we really need is a sentence of description and a URL — we’ll do the rest.

About The Author

Samantha Adams Becker, Senior Director of Communications for the NMC, is the Director of the NMC Horizon Project and lead writer and researcher for the NMC Horizon Report series, which analyzes emerging technology uptake in various education sectors across the globe. She has an expertise in digital communications, with a special interest in e-publishing, social media, and online learning. In 2013, she taught the first online course ever to exclusively take place in Facebook, which was geared towards training education professionals to integrate social media into their teaching practices. Previous to the NMC, Samantha facilitated the digitization of books and periodicals for several of the world’s largest publishers and was the managing editor of a lifestyle magazine.