Is There a Future for Library and Information Work?



Forecasts affecting the future of librarians and information workers have come and gone over the years. Some, like Lancaster’s forecast of the paperless society (1978), have failed completely, since the consumption of paper is now higher than it ever was, and shows no signs of faltering, in spite of the decline of the newspaper industry (Who killed..., 2006; Meyer, 2009). Others, like Lewis’s ‘doomsday scenario’ (1980) were, perhaps, a little early in their estimation of the ‘death of libraries’.

Author Biography

Thomas D. Wilson

Thomas D. Wilson, Professor Emeritus in Information Management at the University of Sheffield, holds a BSc (Econ) (London), PhD (Sheffield), FCLIP. Before his retirement Tom served as Head of the Department of Information Studies at Sheffield for 15 years. He is active as Visiting Professor at Leeds University Business School, and Senior Professor at the University of Borås, Sweden. He also played the role of Academic Director of ICIMSS, from its inception in 1997 until 2007. He is the founder and first editor of the International Journal of Information Management. In 1995 he established the online journal Information Research and served as Publisher and Editor-in-Chief until 2017, when he gave the journal to the University of Borås. He continues to act as Editor-in-Chief. He continues his research and publishing activities and is currently involved in a number of research projects directly related to his fields of interest: information management, information strategies and information policy; research methods; information behaviour; organizational problems in the application of information technology; information systems strategies; and organizational communication. Professor Wilson received an honorary doctorate from Gothenburg University in 2005 and a second honorary doctorate from the University of Murcia, Spain, in 2010. In 2017 he was awarded the Award of Merit of the Association for Information Science and Technology.




How to Cite

Wilson, T. D. (2018). Is There a Future for Library and Information Work?. Uncommon Culture, 7(1/2), 26–43. Retrieved from