Analyzing the Opportunities and Challenges of Smart Libraries

Document Type : Review Article


1 PhD Candidate of Knowledge and Information Science, Knowledge and Information Science Department, Faculty of Education and Psychology, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

2 Professor, Knowledge and Information Science Department, Faculty of Education and Psychology, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Artificial Intelligence Department, Faculty of Computer Engineering, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

4 Associate Professor, Knowledge and Information Science Department, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran


Purpose: The occurrence of every phenomenon is accompanied by opportunities and challenges, which recognition and understanding will lead to using the identified opportunities to overcome the existing and future challenges as much as possible and to solve them and strengthen and improve the desired phenomenon. Considering the increasing importance of smart libraries and the point that the future will be of those smart libraries, it seems it is necessary to understand and recognize the opportunities and challenges ahead. The current research seeked to identify these opportunities and challenges and provide solutions if needed.
Methods: The present research was a review approach using qualitative content analysis and inductive methods to examine and analyze existing documents in the field of smart libraries to identify upcoming opportunities and challenges. The statistical population of the research was all the documents available and related to the subject of the smart library in citation databases like Scopus, Web Of Science, and databases like Science Direct, Springer, Wiley, Emerald, IEEE, Taylor & Francis, ProQuest, Ebsco, JSTOR, SAGE, ACM, and Eric.
Findings: Users, librarians, data, budget, technical, cultural and social, legal and ethical issues, policies and laws, and security were the most important challenges facing smart libraries. On the other hand, opportunities included using data for evidence-based decision-making, developing improved user experience, increasing collaboration and partnership with users and local communities, developing community teaching and learning, and promoting cultural development. 
Conclusion: To face challenges and take advantage of opportunities, it is necessary for smart libraries to manage all aspects of their performance and make continuous efforts to improve services and adapt to the changing needs of society. Librarians need to acquire abilities for efficient management and optimal use of technology. To face this challenge, proper education and training of librarians, upgrading their technical skills, creating awareness and facilitating the change process, and paying attention to attracting and hiring expert and experienced librarians can be helpful. Providing workshops, resources, and training courses for users to familiarize themselves with the capabilities and features of new technologies, automatic systems, and how to use smart libraries helps users acquire the necessary skills for the use of intelligent systems to obtain a smart library. Smart libraries can help compensate for their costs more by working towards partnerships and cooperation with companies, educational institutions, and other libraries. The use of advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things, big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and data mining for data analysis, predicting the needs and behavior of users, automating processes, and providing personalized services, helps to develop smart libraries. Research, formulation, and presentation of policies and standards for data transparency can help smart libraries in facing the challenge of data management and exploitation.


Main Subjects

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