Staff (top) and patron views of Curbside Communicator.

Don’t Touch

September 1, 2020

Curbside Communicator Unique’s Curbside Communicator automates curbside pickups for holds and creates a simple communication link between patrons and library staff to facilitate the process. Rather than requiring patrons to reserve a time slot in advance, Curbside Communicator allows patrons to arrive anytime during designated hours and use their mobile devices to check in and … Continue reading Don’t Touch


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


Photo illustration: © Dariusz Jarzabek/Adobe Stock (library); © nongkran_ch/Adobe Stock (circles)

2020 Library Systems Report

May 1, 2020

Technology for public library automation has been mired in stagnation. It takes a substantial level of development to both maintain existing products and build next-generation technologies for the emerging realities of a given library sector. Will Ex Libris opt to invent a new platform for public libraries, as it did for academics? How it responds may … Continue reading 2020 Library Systems Report


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


COVID-19 vendor resources

Vendor Responses to COVID-19

April 15, 2020

Library vendors, like the libraries they serve, have shifted their operations to a primarily work-from-home model. Almost all support services and software development continue in this way. Most were well prepared to make the change, because many of their employees are accustomed to working remotely. No major service interruptions or lapses in support have taken … Continue reading Vendor Responses to COVID-19


BiblioCommons logo

BiblioCommons Acquired by Constellation Software

February 14, 2020

The transaction marks a departure from its status as a founder-owned company. Though BiblioCommons will continue to operate independently, it now falls under the ownership of a large multinational technology firm managing a diverse portfolio of technology and software companies. But unlike general private equity firms, Constellation has never sold the companies it acquires. Long-term … Continue reading BiblioCommons Acquired by Constellation Software


Librarian's Library by Anna Gooding-Call

Digital Strategies for Librarians

January 2, 2020

Your 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 … Continue reading Digital Strategies for Librarians



Ex Libris and Innovative Interfaces logos

ProQuest to Acquire Innovative Interfaces

December 9, 2019

Since December 2015, Ex Libris has been owned by ProQuest. In addition to its role as a major content provider to libraries, ProQuest is now responsible for a growing portfolio of library technology products, including major systems for resource management, content discovery, materials acquisition, reading list integration, and research services. While ProQuest faces major competition … Continue reading ProQuest to Acquire Innovative Interfaces



The MERGE Cube AR STEM toy works with a smartphone.

Tech Trends

March 1, 2019

American Libraries spoke with three library tech leaders—panelists from the Library and Information Technology Association’s Top Tech Trends panel at the 2019 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits—about what apps, devices, software, and best practices their libraries have implemented and how others can, too. Explore immersive technologies Libraries haven’t fully explored the potential of virtual reality (VR), … Continue reading Tech Trends


Penn State University student Luz Sanchez Tejada uses the school's microcredentialing platform in Pattee Library to earn badges as part of her peer research consultant training. Photo: Steve Tressler

The Making of a Microcredential

January 2, 2019

In the last two years, Penn State University Libraries has seen rapid adoption of its information literacy microcredentials among students. Microcredentials—transferable forms of metadata-encoded, performance-based educational credits—are not new; they started gaining traction in academic libraries around 2012. What is different at Penn State is that to help manage the sudden volume of badge submissions, … Continue reading The Making of a Microcredential