Library Systems Report

Library Systems Report 2018

May 1, 2018

Academic libraries are looking beyond efficiencies in collection management or improvements in library-provided discovery services. Instead, they are addressing broader education needs by inserting relevant resources into platforms that support the curriculum and enhance their institutions’ research activities. Public libraries seek technologies that improve engagement with their communities. These libraries value reliable and feature-rich automation … Continue reading Library Systems Report 2018


Dispatches, by David Lee King

Futureproofing Your Library

May 1, 2018

Most likely your library still has traditional customers who ask questions at the reference desk and check out physical books. You also have a new breed of library customer who brings in any number of electronic devices and expects those devices to work with your library’s technology. They want to plug into your public computers. … Continue reading Futureproofing Your Library


Students assemble the Ultimate Shootout game from the littleBits Code Kit.

Coding for Fun

May 1, 2018

littleBits Code Kit Little Bits has been used in classrooms and makerspaces for years as a platform for building and experimenting with electronics. The Code Kit, released in summer 2017, is its first education-oriented kit to incorporate simple coding into projects. The kit introduces an LED matrix and a “codeBit” to the littleBits collection of … Continue reading Coding for Fun


Speakers at the SXSW EDU “Ready to Code: Libraries Supporting CS Education” panel (from left) Mega Subramaniam, Linda Braun, Nicky Rigg, and moderator Tim Carrigan.

Libraries and the Computer Education Spectrum

March 12, 2018

Moderator Tim Carrigan, senior program officer at the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), presented a picture of how the CT work of libraries closely aligns with national and IMLS priorities. Carrigan highlighted the shifts in library practice over the past decade, such as emphasizing audience engagement and experience, embedding activities and programs in … Continue reading Libraries and the Computer Education Spectrum


Blockchain Technology

Librarians Harness the Potential of Blockchain Technology—Get Involved

February 6, 2018

With a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the San José State University (SJSU) School of Information is investigating ways that blockchain technology can be used by libraries as a community anchor to partner with other organizations and to support civic goals. Some suggestions for blockchain applications in libraries include building … Continue reading Librarians Harness the Potential of Blockchain Technology—Get Involved


Speakers on the "Protecting the Internet Economy" panel (from left): Rachel Wolbers, policy director of Engine; Austin Carson, executive director of TechFreedom; Nuala O’Connor, president and CEO of Center for Democracy and Technology; and Sasha Moss, technology policy federal affairs manager at R Street Institute.

Technology and Library Advocacy at CES

January 23, 2018

CES also has a public policy track, which included the “2018 Preview: Federal Communications Commissioner Roundtable” with commissioners Brendan Carr, Mignon Clyburn, and Michael O’Rielly, moderated by Julie Kearney, vice president of regulatory affairs for the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). Much of the roundtable talk focused on recent net neutrality actions; Clyburn is a Democrat, … Continue reading Technology and Library Advocacy at CES


Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one. --Neil Gaiman

Ten Reasons Libraries Are Still Better Than the Internet

December 19, 2017

Sixteen years ago, American Libraries published Mark Y. Herring’s essay “Ten Reasons Why the Internet Is No Substitute for a Library” (April 2001). Technology has improved exponentially since then—social media didn’t even exist yet. But even the smartest phone’s intelligence is limited by paywalls, Twitter trolls, fake news, and other hazards of online life. Here … Continue reading Ten Reasons Libraries Are Still Better Than the Internet


Screenshot from the American Library Association's Libraries Ready to Code video.

Getting Libraries Ready to Code During CS Education Week

December 1, 2017

CS Education Week is an annual program that brings together educators, tech companies, youth-serving organizations, and, of course, libraries to focus on inspiring young people to explore CS. Skills learned through CS and coding are the skills employers are looking for, and not just in the tech industry. From medicine to sales to music, sports, … Continue reading Getting Libraries Ready to Code During CS Education Week


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