Professional Development

Lauren@NCLA: How Do We Get From Here To There

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 2:44 pm

How Do We Get From Here to There: Coping with Future Changes in Technology and Service Delivery
NC Public Library Trustee Association
Rob McGee, RMG Consultants, Inc.

  • Three important questions
    • What are some new technologies for libraries?
    • What new technologies should my library implement?
    • Should my library partner with other libraries to share new technologies?
  • New technologies come from outside the library, not from our vendors
  • Some technologies will change the scope and jobs we do
  • Web search companies have huge financial resources, and they have the resources to test legal issues around digitization
    • We’re seeing preservation of digital materials being passed to corporations
  • Introduced XML, Ajax, web services, blogs, rss, web2.0 (he says “web two dot oh”), and open source.
  • Listed more “outside” technologies: Enterprise resource planning, enterprise-wide human resources systems, enterprise-wide financial systems, building access and security systems, smart cards, d-commerce, electronic transactions, wifi, rfid, automated material handling, data warehousing and mining, business intelligence, authentication and authorization, digital asset management, content management, elearning, learning management systems, enterprise calendaring, scheduling, reservation systems, handheld computing and communication devices
  • Specific devices: new handheld computing/communication devices, smart phones, iPods and other MP3 devices, ebook readers with ebooks, and web tablets
  • Games: xbox360, wii, ddr, second life and other virtual reality environments
  • Specifics: One Laptop Per Child program, Microsoft Office Communications Server and Office Communicator (extensions to office suite)
  • From inside the library industry: RFI, self service stations, automated materials handling, institutional repositories, museum and archive systems, electronic resource management, enterprise PC scheduling, print management, photocopy and print payment
  • Discovery and Delivery: aquabrowser, rooms, encore, endeca, primo, visualizer
  • Open-source software for libraries: index data/masterkey keystone, equinox/evergreen, liblime/koha, care affiliates inc.
  • Software as a service (SaaS): enriched catalog data, federated searching, ERM, ILS, Acquisitions, Worldcat Local
  • User Devices in the Library: PCs, peripherals for staff (wireless headsets, etc), PDAs, smart phones, adaptive workstations, laptops for both staff and public, web tablets for customer use in areas where PCs or laptops aren’t appropriate, public faxes, photocopiers, ebook devices, portable circulation devices, gaming stations, RFID enabled devices, MP3 flash devices
  • The talk then turned to focus on RFID tags, and the various systems that RFID can integrate with (circulation, automatic return and sorting, security gates, smart shelves, etc)
    • My comments: RFID seems risky from a privacy standpoint and very expensive. The only way I can personally make sense of it is to have an in-house database matching book RFID tag number with catalog info and patron ID with contact information. That way someone with a scanner would not have access to book or patron information, just random numbers. Definitely something I need to know more about.
  • Argued for a change in organizational model and staffing patters to meet new goals of library. Stated our models are based on old services.
  • Argued we need to re-cast what we’re here to do.
  • How to get from where we are to where we need to be: team based learning process about technology, IT needs assessment, assess available and oncoming technology, define IT goals/objectives/strategies/performance measures, within framework of library strategic plan.
  • Prioritize: technologies, technology-based services, technology implementation projects
  • Develop IT budgets for 1 year, 3 year, and 5 year blocks
    • Technology changes really rapidly, so can’t make a permanent budget for 3 or 5 years out. Must be able to adapt to new technologies.
  • Q from public library trustee: Library seems to him to be about books and physical places and reading. How do we maintain that and adapt? A: Can do both, also can help people learn about other services.
  • Q&A: Couldn’t hear the question, but in answer section recommended keeping an eye on iPhone, wireless devices, etc.
  • Q&A: Still couldn’t hear the question, but he answered that it’s important to have a committee of folks to evaluate all new technologies to see if they’re useful for your library and your community.

2 Responses to “Lauren@NCLA: How Do We Get From Here To There”

  1. [...] How do we get from here to there: coping with future changes in technology and service delivery [...]

  2. There are some definite privacy concerns that will be raised if rfid tags are ever required for cars and people. but citizens will always have counter technology — stuff like car radar detectors etc.


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