Lifelong learning: How libraries can prepare us for our changing future
Learning is a lifelong journey, and it certainly shouldn’t end with school or university. Even those of us well-established in our careers need to continue to learn so as to create value in our rapidly changing world.
The 2019 OECD report The Future of Work found that across OECD countries 46% of jobs are at significant or high risk of change due to technology1; The World Economic Forum’s 2018 report The Jobs of the Future found that more than half of all employees around the world will need to upskill in the next three years2.
Against this backdrop, lifelong learning is paramount.
Libraries for lifelong learning
Libraries respond to the changing needs of society by continually innovating to deliver new and improved services.
The Australian Library and Information Association report ‘The Digital Economy within everyone’s reach’, underlines the role of libraries in “leading children and young people on their journey of digital discovery” in schools, and providing a “test bed for digital innovation in support of students, academics and researchers” at universities3.
Civica proudly supports libraries around Australia to evolve, no matter where they are, by providing powerful digital solutions to improve online and physical library services. For example, in regional Western Australia, Civica’s Spydus10 is helping connect regional communities to the resources and benefits of libraries in support of their learning needs.
Australian research has also found strong evidence to suggest learning engagement increases with interaction with library resources, library staff and use of library services4.
The Australian School Library Association posits that access to a library and a qualified librarian has multiple positive outcomes for students, including teaching students how to learn, critically evaluate sources and synthesise informationan5.
The benefits of lifelong learning to Australia
Australia’s education system, and its ability to educate Australians to a high level, is a key factor that has underpinned the country’s economic growth and social wellbeing6.
In the context of ongoing digital disruption to many industries, Australians will need to strengthen their commitment to lifelong learning in order to develop new skills and higher-order thinking7.
However, lifelong learning shouldn’t only be seen as a solution to an emerging problem, but also as an opportunity.
Lifelong learning can support Australia’s future prosperity. For example, a PwC report found that if Australia shifts just 1% of the workforce into STEM roles, the national GDP stands to grow by $57.4 billion8.
Beyond economic gain, lifelong learning also creates social benefits for Australians, that strengthen the foundation of strong society and liberate government resources for development of other areas9.
Research has linked increased availability and quality of education to improved social mobility, improved social equity10, longer life expectancy11, better physical and mental health12, and overall increased social cohesion 13.
This is why Civica proudly supports Australians on their lifelong learning journey. We work with over 6,000 schools colleges, TAFEs and libraries to improve learning outcomes across the country. Civica’s cutting edge Spydus Integrated Library Management System has helped thousands of students engage with and access information easily.
The important part that libraries, librarians and a passion for reading play in lifelong learning can’t be understated. Civica proudly supports libraries around the world to provide the best service for lifelong learners.
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