This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

November 4, 1998

Libraries will Continue to be Viable Resources

With all the attention to the internet and media superstores like Borders and Barnes & Noble, is there still a need for libraries. The answer is a resounding "yes" as the American Library Association reports that 64% of Americans visited a library last year. Two-thirds of Americans have a library card and one in ten visited a library 25 times or more last year.

Libraries have gone high-tech; twenty percent of visitors connect to the internet. 81% continue to borrow books, 65% go to consult a librarian, and 61% do research. "Library Journal" reports that 225 libraries were built or expanded last year.

Our forecast is that public libraries will continue to be a viable community information resource. More corporate libraries will link with their public counterparts to provide greater services to their internal clients, taking advantage of the larger collections and the research expertise found in public libraries. While corporate leaders and professionals have a great need to stay current and have information at their fingertips, lean operating philosophies suggest they'll look to outside resources instead of investing heavily in their own permanent collections.

To extend this thinking further, we anticipate that some employers will outsource the management of their company libraries to their public library systems. Such moves will reduce their operating costs and assure stronger responsive knowledge resources to company employees. Look for corporate training departments to form new bonds with libraries to create new tools for employee growth.

© Copyright 1998- by The Herman Group, Inc. -- reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From "The Herman Trend Alert," by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3548 or To sign up, visit The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc."

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