Photo of Dispatches author Jarrod Bogucki

Head in the Cloud?

September 1, 2021

As access remains limited and fewer staffers work onsite than before the pandemic, launching a digital repository via traditional, onsite hardware may be impractical or even impossible. Our world may be opening up again, but trends such as remote working and online education are likely to continue. To host cultural resource collections in a remote … Continue reading Head in the Cloud?


Dispatches with Erin Baucom

Recipe for Success

June 1, 2021

Digital preservation is a relatively young field. And as a result, it lacks established pathways and processes. What’s more, guidance for practitioners has been purposefully written from a high-level perspective to allow for flexibility by different types and sizes of institutions. But to translate lofty digital preservation theory into on-the-ground practice, we need workflow documents … Continue reading Recipe for Success


Dispatches with Carli Spina

Inclusive Media

May 3, 2021

The tech company Cisco predicts that by 2022, video will account for 82% of all internet traffic. In recent years, large libraries have jumped on this trend, producing recorded author events, tutorials, and promotional videos; since the pandemic began, the popularity of online videos has exploded even further. Ubiquitous as it is, much video content … Continue reading Inclusive Media


Portrait of Dispatches author Monika Glowacka-Musial

Visualize This

March 1, 2021

Digital collections, however, are not simply representations of physical collections but resources in their own right. Unlike physical collections, their digital counterparts feature detailed metadata. Often, they also feature full text, thanks to optical character recognition conversion of text images into machine-encoded data. Both metadata and data can be mined, analyzed, and visualized—not only opening … Continue reading Visualize This


Wired for Wireless

January 4, 2021

According to the Pew Research Center, more than 81% of US adults own a smartphone, up from 35% in 2011. That share is even higher for adults ages 18–29 at 96%, while just over half of people age 65 and older own one. Roughly one in five American adults are “smartphone-only” internet users, meaning they … Continue reading Wired for Wireless


Dispatches, by Mirela Ronvevic

One Country, One Collection

November 2, 2020

This open digital library not only introduced users to a new way of engaging with digital content but also offered a sustainable business model to publishers, authors, libraries, and those who wished to support it financially. The idea for the national library did not come overnight. It was the result of working on various projects … Continue reading One Country, One Collection


Dispatches by Heather Moorefield-Lang

Digital Legacy Planning

September 1, 2020

The themes of afterlife and legacy have become prominent in popular media over the past few years, but the lifecycle of our digital footprint is less understood. The Digital Legacy Association, a British organization that hosts annual conferences on the topic, defines digital legacy as the digital information left behind when a person dies. How … Continue reading Digital Legacy Planning


Dispatches, by Win Shih and Erin Rivero

Voice Assistants

June 1, 2020

Both Alexa and Google Assistant let you run a set of tasks with a single voice command. For example, when you say, “Hey, Google, good morning,” Google Assistant will execute a predefined sequence that can include: adjusting your lights and thermostat; providing a weather report; estimating your commute time; looking up your calendar; providing reminders; … Continue reading Voice Assistants


Dispatches, by Bohyun Kim

A New Tech Revolution

May 1, 2020

In the May issue of American Libraries, without seeking her permission, this column ran with a photo of Professor Kim in all editions. After publication, she notified us of this mistake. We were not able to correct  the print edition of the May issue. We have corrected it in the online, PageSuite, and PDF editions of the column. We apologize for the error.   … Continue reading A New Tech Revolution


Dispatches, by Mirela Ronvevic

Digital Rights Management

March 2, 2020

lack of interoperability and standards among dedicated ebook vendors (because of proprietary DRM technologies) confusion as to what users can and cannot do with digital files inability to use ebooks effectively for research, as limits are placed on activities such as copying and printing absence of any guarantee of access to content in perpetuity For … Continue reading Digital Rights Management


Dispatches, by Michael Meth

Understanding Blockchain

January 2, 2020

Blockchain bears a resemblance to a concept that many librarians are familiar with: LOCKSS. LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) is a digital preservation initiative started by Stanford University Libraries in 1999. Both LOCKSS and blockchain are decentralized, distributed computing protocols that are designed to provide access to digital content and ensure its integrity. … Continue reading Understanding Blockchain


Dispatches, by Marshall Breeding

Personalization vs. Privacy

November 1, 2019

Commercial websites aim to capture as much personal data as possible. This data powers a global advertising ecosystem designed to strengthen retail sales through finely targeted ad placement. To manage websites and internet technologies in ways that reflect their values, libraries invariably must make difficult choices and compromises. While they may not be able to … Continue reading Personalization vs. Privacy