The impact of industrial revolutions on the evolution of public libraries: Platform library realization in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)

The purpose of this research is to review and analyze the developments of public libraries influenced by industrial revolutions, from the formation of traditional libraries in the First Industrial Revolution to the arrival of platform libraries in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The library, as the concept of a platform, creates a social context for improving the participation of individuals and institutions in order to exchange information and knowledge.


The research method consists of a review study in which the documentary approach is used. To extract the information, a comprehensive search was made on the documents available on the Iranian and foreign databases. Documents related to the terms of the Industrial Revolution and the Public Library were retrieved from 2000 to 2018.


The findings of the study identify the characteristics of generations of public libraries based on the paradigms of industrial revolutions. This indicates the need for libraries to shift to thelibrary platform concept in order to continue to survive and provide effective services during the Fourth Industrial Revolution era. Due to the changing social ecosystem affected by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, libraries need to change their attitudes and practices to sustain their being and increase their effectiveness by redefining their values, existential philosophy and logic based on platform thinking for synergy and creativity act with their internal and external stakeholders.It is pointed out in the related literature that libraries are central to users learning from each other, being creative, discussing their work and gaining social knowledge; Increasing the stakeholders’ engagement of the library is one of the pillars of this thinking model. To achieve this redefinition of the platform library, steps must be defined and implemented. The first step is to assess the conditions and quality of services, and then, if feasible for implementation, reviewing and localizing global experiences, and then developing library plans and goals based on this thinking. In the second step, in the issue of resource synchronization with respect to resource control, it is stated that this synchronization should be done by digitizing resources. To harmonize the setting, just as in music performance’ all the instruments had to be played with the right guidance. Similarly, all components of the library must also be aligned and redefined for all components of the library ecosystem and its external interactions. In the third step, the processes are carefully charted and implemented methodically.


In this redefinition, platform library priorities change as follows: 1) Prioritize resource synchronization over library resource control; 2) Enhancing social interactions as compared to optimizing internal libraries; 3) Prioritize the value of the ecosystem over the value of the stakeholders in the library; 4) Priority of facilitating audience access to the library; 5) Priority of facilitating audience access to the library; and 6) Priority to omni-access strategy to the library. In the new definition, the public library is a dynamic social institution, providing a platform for constructive participation for all stakeholders and acting as a value flow manager.

Library and Information Science, Volume:24 Issue: 2, 2021
112 to 139  
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