Technology Trends for Libraries


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Five technology trends that public library directors should be incorporating into their services.

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  • Mobility, eReaders, Where the Customer Is, Cloud Computing
  • Technology Trends for Libraries

    1. 1. Technology Trends for Libraries Basic Library Techniques – Administration. 10/15/2009
    2. 2. Trend 1 - Mobility Now <ul><li>Providing services for users on mobile devices is no longer part of some distant future. </li></ul><ul><li>One-third of Americans have used a cellphone or smartphone to access the Internet, up one-third since December 2007.* </li></ul><ul><li>African-Americans are 70% more likely to access the Internet on a handheld than white Americans, helping to close what has been a traditional digital divide.* </li></ul><ul><li>“ The mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the internet for most people in the world in 2020.” ** </li></ul>*Wireless Internet Use , Pew Internet & American Life Project, July 22, 2009. ** The Future of the Internet III , Pew Internet & American Life Project, December 14, 2008.
    3. 3. Free Text Reference From the Commercial World
    4. 4. InfoQuest: Collaborative Text Reference From Libraries
    5. 5. Text Reference in Massachusetts <ul><li>Memorial Hall Library in Andover is offering text reference. </li></ul><ul><li>Falmouth Public Library is starting a text-a-librarian reference service this fall. </li></ul><ul><li>Any library can provide free text reference via a Web interface using Google Voice. </li></ul>
    6. 6. Other Mobile Services – Mobile-Friendly Web Site
    7. 7. Other Mobile Services – Library Apps Indiana University Catalog Search via an iPhone app
    8. 8. Trend 2 – Meeting the Customer on Their Turf <ul><li>We can no longer expect library users to always meet us in our space. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s time to reach out to them where they live… </li></ul>
    9. 9. In the Virtual World
    10. 10. Or In the Physical World <ul><li>Pioneer Library System (OK) Book Lockers (right) located at the mall and country store for convenient pickup and dropoff of library materials. </li></ul><ul><li>Roanoke Library (VA) is using RFID to facilitate book lockers at the mall in combination with an e-Branch kiosk where users can access library resources. </li></ul>
    11. 11. Trend 3 – Year of the e-Reader <ul><li>The Amazon Kindle is no longer the only game in town. </li></ul><ul><li>Sony has upgraded its eReader. There is not a mini version and a touch-screen version. A new reader with wireless downloads will be available in December. </li></ul><ul><li>Barnes & Noble will release a reading device in January and a full-color device in the spring. </li></ul><ul><li>Asus is also planning a two-screen color device that folds like a book. </li></ul>
    12. 12. What Can Libraries Do With eReaders? <ul><li>Purchase and download several books and circulate them to patrons. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some libraries provide readers with a theme (mystery, romance, science fiction.) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sony Readers and other devices supporting the ePub format can read Overdrive electronic books. </li></ul><ul><li>At the University of Nebraska Omaha, circ staff are authorized to download titles at the point of request if a requested item is not owned by the library and is available from Amazon. The user gets the title more quickly than if they had placed a hold. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Trend 4 – Cloud Computing <ul><li>Instead of installing software and maintaining servers to host large applications, many organizations are using Web services for more and more tasks. </li></ul><ul><li>These services are accessible from multiple computers, require little tech support, and are available even after a computer or server crashes. </li></ul>
    14. 14. Ways You and Your Library Can Use Cloud Computing <ul><li>Instead of backing up files to a USB drive that can suddenly die, for a small fee, you can back up files to a site like,, or </li></ul>
    15. 15. Ways You and Your Library Can Use Cloud Computing Instead of bookmarking Web sites in your browser, use a site like that is accessible from multiple computers and will still be available if your computer crashes.
    16. 16. Ways You and Your Library Can Use Cloud Computing Instead of installing and maintaining Office software, use a Web service like Google Docs or Zoho to create documents and spreadsheets and collaborate with others. No need to transport files with a USB drive; you can access the files from any computer with an Internet connection. May also be a convenient option for patrons who are always transporting files form one computer to another.
    17. 17. Trend 5 - Technology Competencies <ul><li>Technology competencies are the core skills and knowledge library staff need to provide service in a library in 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>Library administrators can use published competencies as a checklist with staff to gauge where additional training is needed. </li></ul><ul><li>SEMLS staff offers “On the Road” workshops that can help build these core skills. </li></ul><ul><li>If staff do not have these skills, it will be difficult for a library to move towards the first four trends identified in the presentation. </li></ul>
    18. 18. Examples of Technology Competencies <ul><li>The California Library Association has developed competenices that can be found at . </li></ul><ul><li>Yale University Librarian Joe Murphy has developed a set of social networking core competencies, available at </li></ul>
    19. 19. Keeping Up <ul><li>ALA Top Technology Trends </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ALA Tech Source </li></ul><ul><li>Pew Internet & American Life Project </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>