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A Brief History of the Future of Academic Libraries: Predictions and Speculations from the Literature of the Profession, 1975 to 2000--part two, 1990 to 2000

During the last quarter of the twentieth century, the literature of academic librarianship was replete with articles predicting, anticipating, speculating, and/or cautioning about future possibilities for the field. The seminal works of F. W. Lancaster, who was one of the early predictors and enthusiasts of "paperless information systems," are the key points of departure for this literature. This article (which covers the period of time from 1990 to 1999), as well as its first part (1975 to 1989), employ a citation-tracking method for gathering and reviewing this literature. Each work discussed in this article either cites Lancaster's work, or another that cites it, so that the resulting literature review has grown from a common source of thought. The aim is to provide an analytical overview on how academic librarians saw and attempted to shape the future of their field during a period of unprecedented change.

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