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Imagining Library 4.0: Creating a Model for Future Libraries

The Journal of Academic Librarianship

Volume 41, Issue 6, November 2015, Pages 786-797



The purpose of this paper is to suggest a Library 4.0 model based on the concepts of Library 4.0 discussed in the literature as the future of library service. The concepts and model of Library 4.0 can be adapted to fit every different kind of library.


For this purpose, first, major reference databases (e.g. Google Scholar, EbscoHost, LISA, etc.) were examined for literature that discusses Web 4.0 and Library 4.0. Second, examples of information technology environments as well as studies and news articles related to information technology were comprehensively collected and analyzed by focusing on those which may influence libraries. Third, examples of cutting-edge information technology applied in libraries were examined and analyzed. Other examples were found of cutting-edge information technologies that have not yet been used in libraries but would be applicable to the next-generation library. Fourth, this study developed a model for next-generation library service provided by Library 4.0 and representative keywords explaining Library 4.0.


First, opinions of scholars tracking the rise of Web 4.0 vary widely, but Web 4.0 features commonly suggested by previous researchers are: reading, writing, and executing simultaneously, intelligence-based agents, connected web, ubiquitous web, intelligence connections, and intelligence-based web. Secondly, this study determined the features of Library 4.0 as: intelligence-based, massive data, augmented reality, context aware, cutting-edge displays, and infinite creative space. Third, in this context, the keywords that best explain Library 4.0 are: Intelligent, Makerspace, Context-Aware Technology, Open Source, Big Data, Cloud Service, Augmented Reality, State-of-the-art Display, and Librarian 4.0.


Discussions about Web 4.0 have begun, but little has been written about Library 4.0. This study is significant for deriving keywords for Library 4.0 and presenting the development direction of Library 4.0. In the future, research on Library 4.0 can actively proceed from this starting point.


Library 4.0
Web 4.0
Intelligent library
Massive data library
Augmented reality