Digital Strategies for Librarians

Guides for managing patrons’ evolving tech needs

January 2, 2020

Librarian's Library by Anna Gooding-Call

A librarian’s library should evolve along with the tools of our trade. The following books will help you stay current on digital trends that affect all aspects of the profession.

Cover of Your Technology Outreach Adventure by Erin BermanYour Technology Outreach Adventure: Tools for Human-Centered Problem Solving
By Erin Berman
This title will guide professionals in exploring computer-focused library programming. While it provides good examples of tech programs that benefit from outreach, the bulk of the book deals with group planning and design. These are often applicable to any program series or project where planning happens in committee. Conference planners and professionals staging library-wide events may find its insights particularly useful. In addition to well-outlined brainstorming strategies, Berman details methods for transforming plans into effective programs while maintaining a spirit of cooperation among organizers. ALA Editions, 2019. 208 p. $54.99. PBK. 978-0-8389-1778-7. (Also available as an ebook.)

Cover of Information Literacy and Libraries in the Age of Fake News, by Denise E. Agosto, editorInformation Literacy and Libraries in the Age of Fake News
By Denise E. Agosto, editor
This collection of essays does an outstanding job presenting multiple philosophies, strategies, and viewpoints on the problem of digital disinformation. Unlike the titular fake news, these short pieces are uniformly researched, well sourced, and invested with extensive bibliographies. Several stand in stark contrast to their subject as pieces that argue a point well without skirting facts. Topics range from strategies to help patrons develop critical-thinking skills to the history of yellow journalism. The bibliographies for each essay contain a wealth of further reading and possible foundations for thesis and research papers. Libraries Unlimited, 2018. 184 p. $65. PBK. 978- 1-4408-6418-6. (Also available as an ebook.)

Cover of Power Searching the Internet: The Librarian’s Quick Guide, by Nicole HennigPower Searching the Internet: The Librarian’s Quick Guide
By Nicole Hennig
Centered firmly on the practical, Power Searching compresses valuable information into a slim volume on the use of popular platforms like Twitter and especially Google as search resources. A particularly good resource for librarians who educate patrons about search habits, it reveals new sides to services that many people already know about. Its weakness is that it’s a physical book in a digital world. Some of its advice, such as that about Google+, is already out of date. Even so, its pointers are professionally valuable, clearly conveyed, and worth its price. Libraries Unlimited, 2018. 103 p. $35. PBK. 978-1-4408-6697-5. (Also available as an ebook.)

Cover of New Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know: A LITA Guide, by Kenneth J. VarnumNew Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know: A LITA Guide
By Kenneth J. Varnum
Varnum’s 2014 Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know gets a follow-up in this collection of essays about emerging technologies. While professionals comfortable with the “internet of things” and HTML5 will feel right at home, the book is a worthwhile look into the near future. It is solutions-oriented and positive when it addresses problems like privacy and link rot. Each well-cited essay includes a bibliography, and a thorough index completes the entire work. Like its predecessor, this book is likely to be relevant for about five years, during which time it will be extremely useful. Highly recommended. ALA Editions, 2019. 304 p. $70. PBK. 978-0-8389-1782-4. (Also available as an ebook.)

Cover of Power Up Your Read-Alouds: Building Reading Excitement through Technology, by Andrea PaganelliPower Up Your Read-Alouds: Building Reading Excitement through Technology
By Andrea Paganelli
It’s safe to say that many librarians still aren’t completely aware of transmedia, the digitally integrated storytelling strategy that makes books and storytimes interactive. This book represents a valuable self-education opportunity for any programming librarian, regardless of specialty. It even provides sample program-ready storytime plans. Despite its tech focus, much of this book’s advice for tailoring storytimes to specific audiences could apply to a traditional, nondigital storytime. All in all, a strong choice for a brand-new children’s librarian or LIS student. Libraries Unlimited, 2019. 150 p. $45. PBK. 978-1-4408-6520-6. (Also available as an ebook.)

Cover of Tech-Savvy Reading Promotion: A Toolbox for Librarians and Other Educators, by Nancy J. KeaneTech-Savvy Reading Promotion: A Toolbox for Librarians and Other Educators
By Nancy J. Keane
Stuffed with helpful advice on online tools, this title focuses on empowering librarians to locate and create digital media. The plethora of (mostly free or freemium) resources encompasses every format from infographics to virtual reality. Bulleted sublists help break down usage instructions into comprehensible chunks. Divided by category, the book explains each media type’s definition and potential usage. However, handholding is minimal; it’s meant for librarians who are already social-media aware. Any title about web pages is vulnerable to link death, and this one is no exception. For now, enjoy this indispensable work, and look for future updates. Libraries Unlimited, 2019. 166 p. $50. PBK. 978-1-4408-6850-4. (Also available as an ebook.)


Graphic: Libraries use tech tools to fight fake news (Illustration: Drew Bardana)

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