During National Library Week, the American Library Association (ALA) released its annual report on the state of America's libraries.
"Academic, public and school libraries are experiencing a shift in how they are perceived by their communities and society. No longer just places for books, libraries of all types are viewed as anchors, centers for academic life and research and cherished spaces. This and other library trends of the past year are detailed in the American Library Association’s 2015 State of America’s Libraries report, released during National Library Week, April 12– 18, 2015."
The Executive Summary provides an overview of the trends shaping all libraries.
As an academic law librarian, I am particularly interested in ALA's report on academic libraries. From the report, in part:
In the past three years, 62.6% of academic libraries reported repurposing space for group study, student success areas (writing/tutoring centers), quiet study space, technology learning spaces, and additional seating. Doctoral/research institutions undertook the most renovations (79.5%), followed by baccalaureate schools (60.8%), comprehensive schools (65.1%), and associate degree–granting institutions (47.3%). Within the next five years, 79% of doctoral/research institutions, 69% of comprehensive institutions, 65% of baccalaureate schools, and 45% of associate degree-granting institutions are planning additions, renovations, refurbishments, or new buildings.
Doctoral/research institutions employed an average of 49.58 professional staff, comprehensive institutions employed an average of 10.8 professional staff, baccalaureate schools employed an average of 6 professional staff, and associate degree–granting institutions employed an average of 5.24 professional staff according to a recent survey.
Academic libraries provided 26.3% of all jobs for new library school graduates in 2013, down from 33.3% in 2012.
From ALA's perspective, it seems that libraries are effectively meeting the changing demands of the patron base.