This issue (May 2014) we invited Marshall Breeding to give us a status and trends report on strategic products of the library technology industry. His detailed investigation begins here. He has been reporting on technology in the industry for more than a decade and regularly provides updates for us and on his own site. Breeding found sharp competition in 2013, with many major vendors extending globally, streamlining internal organizations, and wrapping up ambitious product developments. His report covers the state of the industry, 2013 sales performance, and business transitions and acquisitions. He provides listings of library systems companies, with address, phone, website, products, and types of libraries served. Very useful information you just might want to hang on to.
And on the topic of technology trends, there’s the proliferation of massive open online courses, aka MOOCs. Are they a passing fad, or a new way of learning that’s here to stay? Paul Signorelli and Amanda Hovious take differing views in our feature.
Communities change as populations shift, and no one knows that better than public librarians. With nearly 40% of all foreign-born residents in the US now coming from Mexico, Central America, and Cuba, the time is right to develop programs and services that reach out to these growing communities. Learn more about this shift, and how two libraries created successful programs for their local Latino residents.
Flip to the back page of this issue and you’ll find our new feature, The Bookend. We’re profiling librarians and their work in this new addition to American Libraries. This month spotlights a few of the librarians who posed for photographer Kyle Cassidy at the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting. Cassidy came to the meeting at the request of Librarian Wardrobe bloggers, and a photo essay of his shoot appeared in Slate. Look for Cassidy at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas if you want to get your look captured.
If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the 2014 State of America’s Libraries digital edition. It includes a list of the top 10 most frequently challenged books and highlights important trends in the library world, such as reports on public, academic, and school libraries; ebooks, digital content, and copyright issues; outreach and diversity news; and updates on censorship battles, among other subjects. This must-read publication is among our most frequently viewed digital supplements each year, worth bookmarking for future reference.