Institutional repositories (IRs) currently exist in a rapidly shifting landscape without a clear consensus on their role in the academic environment. Low self-archiving rates have dampened hopes that IRs would have an impact on scholarly publishing models. Preservation programs, a stated goal of many IRs, are often not well established. In many cases, IRs are not part of a larger vision for services the library can provide to the institution, but are isolated projects without a strong base of support. Institutions are beginning to explore the role of IRs in the collection of materials like data sets. Given this environment, where will IRs be in the next five or ten years? This issue of Library Trends contains an impressive slate of articles from prominent practitioners and researchers in the field, who offer a range of perspectives on the current state of IRs in academic institutions and reflections on their future.