Global crises create a sense of urgency for change and innovation. Libraries in their various communities definitely stepped up to the call for action during the recent pandemic as they have in the past for natural disasters! Libraries are resilient and are now resetting for the future. The 25th Internet Librarian highlights some of the exciting changes that will likely become standard in the future, those that were great experiments from which we learned much, as well as creative new insights and plans for the future. Plans which include working with their communities in rebuilding and recovering from the economic and social issues arising from recent upheavals.
There are so many positive possible futures for libraries in every community – campuses, municipalities, hospitals, schools, corporate and non-profit enterprises, governments, and more! The trick is to channel the passion that librarians have into building awareness and relationships in their communities; taking action and not waiting for citizens, students, researchers, business folks or faculty to come to them; creating and experimenting with innovative programs and services using new technologies; securing solid partnerships to expand programs and resources; and futurizing strong, collaborative, successful and sustainable communities! Internet Librarian 2021 highlights how libraries are using artificial intelligence and machine learning to save time for new programs, dealing with big data to pinpoint insights, using sensors and other "internet of things" devices to improve and extend services, experimenting with augmented and virtual reality to delight their communities, tracking and sharing applications of smart technology with their campuses, organizations and neighborhoods. Internet Librarians never, however, lose sight of people in their communities as they futurize and transform to make sure they are relevant and valuable in their communities.Internet Librarian Call for Speakers