Library Trends 51 (4) Spring 2003: Research Questions for the Twenty-first Century


Library Trends 51 (4) Spring 2003: Research Questions for the Twenty-first Century. Edited by Mary Jo Lynch.

The context for this issue is that analog library service is in a period of dramatic change but is expected to continue well into the twenty-first century expanded by digital library service. Some would argue that the important problems of this era can be solved only through political and technological means. But this issue begins with the assumption that research is essential and asks: What are the most important researchable questions for the next five to ten years and how might they be approached? The definition of research used for this issue is the classic one Jesse H. Shera developed in the July 1964 issue of Library Trends.

Each of the authors-people who are well known and respected as researchers - was asked to write an essay that: States three to five questions that the author believes could and should be answered through research in the next five to ten years; Describes why each question is important now; Describes what previous work exists for the researcher to build on; Indicates appropriate methodologies. Authors were told that the questions they chose could come from any area of librarianship and that some overlap between articles was expected. None of the authors followed the outline exactly, but each produced a thoughtful analysis of research needed in his or her area(s) of special interest.

Library Trends (ISSN 0024-2594) is an essential tool for librarians and educators alike. Each issue thoroughly explores a current topic of interest in professional librarianship and includes practical applications, thorough analyses, and literature reviews. The journal is published quarterly for the Graduate School of Library and Information Science by The Johns Hopkins University Press. For subscription information, call 800-548-1784 (410-516-6987 outside the U.S. and Canada), email jlorder [at], or visit

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