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Practical Application of Emerging Technologies in Libraries: Keeping Pace and Discerning Relevance by Bob Sweet Head of Information Technology Services.

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Presentation on theme: "Practical Application of Emerging Technologies in Libraries: Keeping Pace and Discerning Relevance by Bob Sweet Head of Information Technology Services."— Presentation transcript:

1 Practical Application of Emerging Technologies in Libraries: Keeping Pace and Discerning Relevance by Bob Sweet Head of Information Technology Services Texas Tech University Libraries ext September 2006

2 2 A wide range of emerging technologies affect libraries in many ways This limited presentation briefly addresses: –Desktop and mobile computing –Multimedia and communication technologies –Web 2.0 tools and services such as RSS, podcasting, wikis, blogs, social networking, etc. –…and the emerging of Web 3.0 …the intertwining of web-based social applications for the work or business world …using the Internet as an operating system (like Windows 2000 or XP) for totally new kinds of dynamic virtual applications This presentation does not address: –Integrated library systems or other typical library- specific technologies –RFID (other than a few resources in the handout) –…or, Digital library and repository technologies

3 3 Lot's of questions! What specific emerging technologies are important for libraries and why? How might librarians incorporate emerging technologies into patron services, or use them for their own benefit? –Who in the library should have ownership of new or emerging technology, and why? –How do we determine relevance? Or, how do we determine what is truly practical? –How do we incorporate what is relevant or practical? What are some of the long term possibilities and implications? How do we stay in touch or keep pace with what's emerging as new technology?

4 4 What specific emerging technologies are important for libraries and why? Blogs and tags RSS and podcasting Wikis and twikis Social networking services Mobile or wireless devices such as PDAs, cell phones, laptops, tablet PCs, and other handheld electronic devices USB devices including storage devices, hand warmers, humidifiers, lights, fans, etc. -- ( See the following sites: ; ; ) …and wireless USB: A few examples…first from the webthe web

5 5 A computer mouse that doubles as an internet phone Pocket scanner for text and graphics Self-contained digital audio book with integrated player, battery, and headphones 3D Video-viewing glasses Combo Cell phone, web browser and MP3 player

6 6 Mobile Demand Rugged xTablet T8600 Pepper Pad 3 Nokia 770 TabletKiosk eo UMPC v7110

7 7 Single screen tablet Toshiba's Portege M400 Dual screen tablet for eBooks Toshiba eBook CeBIT

8 How might librarians incorporate emerging technologies into patron services, or use them for their own benefit? This questions correctly implies that Librarians have ownership of this See lots of examples at web sites cited in the Resources handout Some other ideas…

9 9 Wikis –Probably best for staff use to enhance collaborative communication and resource sharing –Very difficult to manage as a tool for patron use –Use MediaWiki, free software package for creating Wikis: RSS –Quick online communication for news, announcements, new stuff, meeting minutes, etc. –Use for both staff and patrons –Might be incorporated into a Wiki or blog –For how to build an RSS Feed step by step see:

10 10 Blogs –Used to generate and facilitate communication about interesting topics, activities, programs, policies, etc. –Provides a mechanism for soliciting feedback and collaborative communication –Use for staff and patrons –Can be enhanced by building in RSS and might be used within a Wiki –For how to create a Blog and many other tips see: –http://www.wikihow.com/Category:Website-and-Blog-Creation Third party social networking services –Combines RSS, Blogs, etc. with other online services to create virtual social sites for collaboration, information sharing, information provision, etc. –Lots of possible uses: services, information, social interaction, professional interactionfor staff and patrons.

11 11 Mobile devices –Consider loanable hand-held devices for use within the library Need policy addressing checkout and use parameters, limits of library liability, personal data, patron liability, etc. –Accommodate for USB-enabled devices and handheld devices that patrons bring into the library Need policy addressing use, misuse, limits of library liability, permitted devices or prohibited devices, system limitations, etc. Need simple instructions and FAQs for use with library resourceshandouts and on the library website Need to consider multifunction devices (such as cell phone/web browser/MP3 player) Consider support of wireless USB –Library web-based services need to be scalable for use with a variety of devices that have differing screen resolutions and other limitationsprovide viewing/usage options on the library home page –Wireless networking for mobile devices Physical obstructions such as library book stacks and facility infrastructures can dramatically hinder wireless accessmay want to designate wireless areas within the library to maximize service integrity Should be upgradeable and scalable to accommodate for increased use over time

12 12 Some other kinds of technology to consider offering or accommodating for staff and patrons –Scanning technology versus photocopying Flat bed scanners Pen scanners Kiosk scanning stations –Audio books with self-contained wireless player and headphones –eBooks and other eMaterials for use on mobile devices or on ePaper –ePaper displays and signs –Online multimedia feeds to mobile devices for everything from virtual library materials to virtual library tours, tutorials, recorded classes or lecture sessions, or seminars, etc., etc.

13 13 How do we determine relevance? Or, how do we determine what is truly practical? -- Ask questions! For patrons? –Does it serve the library's mission? –Does enhancing our services with this technology present a conflict of interest or competition with the business community? If so, is that in our best interest? –What percentage of users, and which users will most likely use it? How important is that? For staff? –Will it increase productivity in the near term, the short term, the long term? –Do the anticipated benefits outweigh the costs and risks? –Will staff actually embrace it? Is this intended? If so, how will you ensure that they do? What will you do if they dont? Is it cost effective? Can we do this with existing resources? Or, what might we no longer be able to do in order to do this? Do we already have the expertise or can we realistically acquire the expertise in a timely and cost effective manner through training, outsourcing, partnering, or hiring?

14 14 How do we incorporate what is relevant or practical? Quite frankly, some of your efforts will be a matter of trial and error, and calculated risks. Do some reasonable and realistic planning, and then jump in. –Keep it simple! –The water is really not that bad once you get used to it. Move around in it and enjoy yourself. Be adaptable--build whatever adaptability you can into your organization with mechanisms, policies, and procedures that facilitate rapid evaluation and implementation of emerging technologies. Scrutinize and strive to eliminate organizational obstacles to such adaptability. Dedicate regular time to careful research, proactive forward thinking (thinking out of the box), and positioning Positioning is all about being actively engaged with your patrons, staff, colleagues, and other forward-thinkers to align, and periodically re-align services (staff and patron) with evolving needs.

15 15 What are some of the long term possibilities and implications? Investigate innovations Pioneer the practical Reach for previously inconceivable, dynamic partnerships or service coalitions between various kinds of libraries, and between libraries and other emerging entities (many of which may be virtual entities) as Web 3.0 emerges and gains momentum Be a part of the dynamic shaping of new kinds of libraries and library services that bridge between the traditional and the innovative

16 16 How do we stay in touch or keep pace with what's emerging as new technology? Routinely and regularly ask your patrons! –Formally through surveys and/or focus groups –Informally through casual conversations Look for and attend relevant conferences and seminars, or at least peruse the web postings from them (a few examples) –Computers In Libraries (annual, Wash. DC, Apr.07) –Educause (annual, Dallas Oct.06; regional, Austin, Feb.07) –Emerging Technology Conference (annual, San Diego, Mar.07)

17 17 Select a few progressive resources (see Resources handout) –regularly peruse web sites and blogs (at least weekly) –subscribe to lists and read the messages –Select the ones that work best for you –Keep your efforts manageable –Dont expect to keep up with everything Share what you find with other librarians and otherssharing generally yields sharing in return Get outside of library circles to broaden your exposure to considerations and possibilities from other perspectives How do we stay in touch or keep pace...(cont.) ?

18 18 Conclusion Be practical! Be creative!


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