7 Library Technology Trends That Are Transforming the Way We Work

Library Technology Trends are revolutionizing the way librarians work. With advancements in cloud-based library solutions, artificial intelligence, and digital resources, librarians are now able to provide a better user experience and stay ahead of the curve. In this blog post, we will explore seven Library Technology Trends that are transforming the way librarians work and how they are leveraging these innovations to create a modern library service for their users.

technology trends 2023 librarians

1) Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a powerful technology that has been receiving a lot of attention recently. Here at Bailey Solutions we have been using AI for a while now to create chatbots for our websites and to assist with writing articles like this. I have written this article assisted by Anyword, which is a data-driven text generator or copywriting tool. I find it speeds up my writing and makes sure the text is appropriate for my audience.

So how can librarians make use of artificial intelligence in libraries? For a start, just like us, librarians can also add chatbots to their library websites and generate text more quickly for all sorts of purposes. But there are more exciting developments around the corner that will disrupt librarians’ jobs and improve the user experience. For example, artificial intelligence in libraries could be used to curate and recommend relevant digital resources, such as ebooks, to their users. In addition, AI can be used to improve the user experience of cloud-hosted library solutions by suggesting more relevant search terms and displaying more useful content. 

As librarians become more comfortable with the use of AI in their work, they can begin to explore more ways to leverage the technology to benefit their users. Machine learning as well as sound- and image-recognition technologies are already being used to analyse digital collections and identify topics and entities, and assign metadata. Librarians are also working with machine learning technologies, to enhance classification schemes to improve search and recall precision. For more information about the use of AI in libraries read this article by Lauren Hays at Lucidea. Lauren provides several useful links to other resources about the use of AI in libraries.

2) Digital Resources

Over the last twenty years and particularly since the COVID pandemic, digital resources have become more popular among library users. Digital resources allow users to search and access information quickly and easily, whether they are on-site or working remotely. With a vast selection of books, articles, and other types of content available online, libraries can create a more comprehensive user experience beyond the physical space of the library. For more information on the switch to digital resources read Alison Million’s article about the switch to digital in legal libraries over the last twenty years.
As digital access grows, librarians will have more time to help users access digital resources. Single Sign-On is another key Library Technology Trend that gets rid of barriers to digital access. When users are logged in, it is easy to monitor the usage of digital resources and obtain qualitative data. Librarians are using data analytics to gain insights into users’ collective behaviour and preferences. This helps them to improve the services and resources they offer and to make evidence-based decisions.

3) Faceted Search and Discovery

Faceted search and discovery is another library technology trend that vastly improves the user experience when they are searching the library catalogue. For a long time, retail sites like Amazon and other book websites have offered pain-free searching for untrained users, while library systems still required the user to use Boolean operators, wildcards, truncation symbols and other code-like tools. Modern library systems now allow the user to type a word or phrase and then discover what is there using facets or smart filters. They are called “smart filters” because they are only revealed if there are resources available. The filters allow the user to narrow down their search results quickly without the danger that they will end up with no results. Examples of facets or filters are things like format, subject, location, author, and publisher. With searching as easy as this, advanced searching will almost become redundant for all but the trained researcher or information professional.


4) Responsive User Interface

The demand for responsive interfaces for library systems is on the rise. Modern libraries should have interfaces that can work for smartphones, tablets, and laptops so that the design of the webpage changes appropriately for these devices. Library users can use any type of device to search the catalogue, borrow materials, and check account information whether on-site or working remotely. Administrators of libraries will probably not use mobile devices, but they may benefit from a tablet for roving library services and stock checks away from their desks. However, most of their work will be done using desktop devices.


5) Library Automation

Library automation is a process of streamlining the operations of a library. It includes utilising functions in your library system to increase efficiencies in how library managers catalogue their collections, track users, circulate materials, and handle other administrative tasks. With library automation, cataloguing tasks can be delegated to library helpers or volunteers and then all the librarian needs to do is check the catalogue records, and assign subject terms and a classification. 

This means that cataloguing can be done more efficiently and with more accuracy. In addition, other tasks can be automated such as sending out overdue loan notices, alerts when new items are added to the library, and alerts to library staff. Automation helps reduce errors and saves time for staff members. It also enables them to focus on providing better customer service and adding value elsewhere in library services.


6) Electronic Data Interchange

Electronic Data Interchange, or EDI, is another way to automate library operations. Electronic Data Interchange is the process of sending data from one system to another. In the context of libraries, it usually means your supplier of library resources sends data about your orders and invoices to your library system, so the information can be entered for you. Some suppliers can use EDI processes to help you with subscription renewals and check-in journals. 
By utilising EDI, libraries can improve business cycle speeds, reduce human error and improve record accuracy, increase business efficiency, enhance transaction security, and become more environmentally friendly. EDI offers long-term benefits of streamlining operations and reducing manual labour.


7) Cloud-hosted Library Solutions

The use of cloud-hosted library solutions is becoming increasingly prevalent as libraries strive to improve their services and provide better access to digital resources. Digital resources hosted in the cloud can be easily shared with users, offering increased access to online materials without having to be on-site. By using cloud-hosted library solutions, libraries can also reduce hardware costs and provide improved mobile experiences. Cloud hosting offers several advantages, including improved scalability and reliability, reduced costs, and easier data integration.
If you worry about hosting your system in the cloud, read my full article busting the misconceptions of cloud-based library solutions here.



The library of the future is here, and it’s powered by technology. From artificial intelligence to cloud-hosted library solutions, librarians are leveraging the latest innovations to improve the user experience and stay ahead of the curve. By embracing digital resources, deploying library automation and electronic data interchange, libraries can transform the traditional library model and unlock new potential. With these Library Technology Trends and others, libraries are evolving and adapting to the changing landscape of information access and storage. The possibilities are endless – and only limited by our imagination.