Driving Forces

Certain powerful driving forces will affect the library’s direction no matter what picture of the future emerges: budget, demographics, technology, and the future of the printed book.  Our scenario planning is not about predicting how these forces will develop and at what pace.  Rather, we assume that these forces would impact the way each of the four stories would play out.

  • Budget.  Our four stories are descriptions of the Library’s role in the community whether budgets go up or down.
  • Demographics.  The changing workforce, an aging population, disparities in wealth and education are factors that will shape all possible scenarios.
  • Technology.  The nature, cost, and availability of technology will affect the nature and extent of the digital divide and the Library’s role in any scenario.
  • Print books.  Each story assumes two things: as long as the public wants print books, the library will circulate print books; and the library will eventually circulate e-readers, have an extensive collection of easily-downloadable digital books, or both.  We recognize that this latter assumption is far from certain.

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