Jaime Casap, chief education evangelist at Google, talks to librarians in the exhibit hall after his keynote talk on the first day of the 2017 AASL National Conference and Exhibition in Phoenix.

Technology at the Forefront of Education

November 13, 2017

Jaime Casap, education evangelist at Google, opened the 2017 American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National Conference and Exhibition, held November 9–11 in Phoenix, with an examination of the evolving state of education in the US and how it has changed—for better and for worse—with the advance of technology. The future is now, Casap says, … Continue reading Technology at the Forefront of Education


Dispatches, by Marshall Breeding

Open Source Software

November 1, 2017

Integrated library systems (ILS), as well as the new genre of library services platforms, are offered to libraries primarily as proprietary products controlled by a single vendor. Libraries that use these products remain dependent on that vendor for ongoing software development, solutions to systemic problems, and service enhancements. While proprietary software remains the dominant approach, … Continue reading Open Source Software


Joseph Janes

Gathering in the Clouds

November 1, 2017

But I found myself wondering the other day: The cloud is a new kind of information territory, so where is the open, public space within it? Where are the libraries? What if libraries offered truly free, no-strings-attached cloud storage to  their communities? That would provide security, privacy, permanence, and  continuity—just the kind of foundation that … Continue reading Gathering in the Clouds


NCSU student Bharat Karunakaran plays Job Simulator with an Oculus Rift headset in Hill Library's VR Studio.

Making Virtual Reality a Reality

September 1, 2017

First-person shooter games. Military training exercises. Those are the applications most often associated with the words “virtual reality” (VR). But as new library offerings at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Raleigh demonstrate, VR represents an amazing, state-of-the-art resource that can enhance just about any discipline, from cartography to psychology, architecture to English. No recordings … Continue reading Making Virtual Reality a Reality


Google promoted its “Libraries Ready to Code” joint initiative with ALA.

Tech Power

July 19, 2017

I probably spend more time in the exhibit hall than most conference attendees—you may have seen me browsing the aisles or rushing to my next appointment. The meetings I have with company executives and product experts inform much of my research and writing for months to come as a chronicler of the library technology industry. … Continue reading Tech Power


Screen reader software synthesizes web content into speech for people with visual impairments.

Library Websites for All

June 1, 2017

Providing this support in user-centered and responsive ways fulfills the librarian’s obligation to offer service to all users. However, paying attention to accessibility for visually impaired patrons is not just the right thing to do. It may also protect your library from legal trouble. Legal precedents for access In 2012 the National Federation of the … Continue reading Library Websites for All


10 Tech Trends

Top Library Tech Trends

May 1, 2017

American Libraries spoke to library tech leaders—members of the Library and Information Technology Association’s popular Top Tech Trends panel from the 2017 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits—to get the apps, devices, software, and best practices that you can adopt for your library right now and in the near future. 1. Take patrons on a virtual tour … Continue reading Top Library Tech Trends




Mars

The Path to Mars

March 14, 2017

At the “Humans, Robots, and Microbes: The Challenge of Mars” panel on March 10, NASA scientists Monsi Roman, Robert Ambrose, and Kimberly Hambuchen and National Geographic Mars miniseries producer Jonathan Silberberg discussed the challenges and opportunities that lie among microbes, humans, and robots in getting to Mars. “Microbes are an incredible factory of harm,” said Roman, microbiologist and … Continue reading The Path to Mars


Library Cards

The Future of Library Cards

January 3, 2017

At many libraries, digital “cards”—which usually consist simply of numbers that patrons use to access digital items—have become standard. The Harris County (Tex.) Public Library (HCPL) introduced its version, the iKnow Digital Access Card, as a way to “reduce as many barriers as possible,” says Library Director Edward Melton. IKnow card holders can access the … Continue reading The Future of Library Cards


Economic growth via the internet

Partnering with Tech

December 2, 2016

This question was posed to three panelists at a policy hackathon, cohosted by ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) and the Internet Association on November 17 at Google’s Washington, D.C., office. Chaired by ALA President Julie B. Todaro and with welcome remarks by Google’s Head of Global Industry Relations Carley Graham Garcia, the session … Continue reading Partnering with Tech