Purpose(#br)The purpose of this paper is to investigate the prospects of current storage technologies for long-term preservation of big data in digital libraries. (#br)Design/methodology/approach(#br)The study employs a systematic and critical review of the relevant literature to explore the prospects of current storage technologies for long-term preservation of big data in digital libraries. Online computer databases were searched to identify the relevant literature published between 2000 and 2016. A specific inclusion and exclusion criterion was formulated and applied in two distinct rounds to determine the most relevant papers. (#br)Findings(#br)The study concludes that the current storage technologies are not viable for long-term preservation of big data in digital libraries. They can... neither fulfil all the storage demands nor alleviate the financial expenditures of digital libraries. The study also points out that migrating to emerging storage technologies in digital libraries is a long-term viable solution. (#br)Research limitations/implications(#br)The study suggests that continuous innovation and research efforts in current storage technologies are required to lessen the impact of storage shortage on digital libraries, and to allow emerging storage technologies to advance further and take over. At the same time, more aggressive research and development efforts are required by academics and industry to further advance the emerging storage technologies for their timely and swift adoption by digital libraries. (#br)Practical implications(#br)The study reveals that digital libraries, besides incurring significant financial expenditures, will suffer from potential loss of information due to storage shortage for long-term preservation of big data, if current storage technologies are employed by them. Therefore, policy makers and practitioners should meticulously choose storage technologies for long-term preservation of big data in digital libraries. (#br)Originality/value(#br)This type of holistic study that investigates the prospects of magnetic drive technology, solid-state drive technology, and data-reduction techniques for long-term preservation of big data in digital libraries has not been conducted in the field previously, and so provides a novel contribution. The study arms academics, practitioners, policy makers, and industry with the deep understanding of the problem, technical details to choose storage technologies meticulously, greater insight to frame sustainable policies, and opportunities to address various research problems.