Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know

Top Technologies

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This book explores library technologies just emerging from the background into reality. Each technology will be significant to libraries in the near term (authors were asked to think about a 3-5 year horizon as they made their predictions). This book is a guide to library administrators and technologists as they plan future investigations and expenditures. I wrote an abbreviated summary of the book's themes in a blog post for CILIP, "4 technology trends every librarian need to know." The Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know is available from Amazon in print and Kindle versions, as well as from the ALA Store.

Table of Contents

  1. “Impetus to Innovate: Convergence and Library Trends,” by A.J. Million and Heather Lea Moulaison
  2. “Hands-Free Augmented Reality: Impacting the Library Future,” by Brigitte M. Bell and Terry Cottrell
  3. “Libraries and Archives Augmenting the World,” by William Denton
  4. “The Future of Cloud-Based Library Systems,” by Steven Bowers and Elliot Jonathan Polak
  5. “Library Discovery: From Ponds to Streams,” by Ken Varnum
  6. “Exit As Strategy: Web Services as the New Websites for Many Libraries,” by Anson Parker, VP Nagraj, and David Moody
  7. “Reading and Non-Reading: Text Mining in Critical Practice,” by Devin Higgins
  8. “Bigger, Better, Together: Building the Digital Library of the Future,” by Jeremy York
  9. “The Case for Open Hardware in Libraries,” by Jason Griffey
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Where to Buy?


The most recently published reviews are on top. (Updated 10 August 2016.)

  • "[T]he book has an important place within the continuing education and project management life cycles of library professionals of all kinds." Joseph Shapell, Education for Information, Vol. 32, No. 3, pp. 305-306. 
  • "Overall, this book will appeal to library managers and staff, LIS students and all in between. The topics are broad enough that all within the GLAM sector will be able to connect with the content." Kim Salamonson, The Electronic Library, Vol. 34 Iss: 1, pp.173 - 174.
  • "This book is tiny, but it packs a punch. In just 144 pages it neatly sums up a range of futures which every librarian should familiarise themselves with in this time of chal- lenge and change. A must-read for both practising librarians and students in the field." Kay Oddone, Australian Academic & Research Libraries, Vol. 46, No. 4, pp. 312-3.
  • "In an approachable and reader-friendly slim volume, we are introduced to ways in which we can make our library services bigger and better for the future." Louise Ellis-Barrett, Library and Information Research, Vol. 39, No. 120, p. 67.
  • "This title is recommended for the collection development librarian who wants the essential information in short bits. The authors make solid cases as to why specific technologies are beneficial and how they may be used in libraries effectively." -- Lizzy Walker, Collection Management, Vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 186-188.
  • "[T]his book will help a librarian make the case for putting these technologies in place and using them to the benefit of the library and its patrons." -- Elisabeth R. Rowan, Journal of Hospital Librarianship, Vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 346-347.
  • "[L]ibrarians looking to better understand current trends and future directions will find this an excellent starting point. The book is highly recommended for all libraries." -- Amanda Izenstark, Reference Reviews, Vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 7-8.
  • "[The book] will help librarians think strategically about deploying technology in their communities. We should already know our users; after reading this, we will have new ideas about technology that we can use now and in the near future." -- Gwen M. Gregory, Information Today, May 2015, Vol. 32, no. 4, p. 20.
  • "This book would be a useful purchase for library staff, especially managers, who would like to be prepared for the future library trends to help them enhance the library experience and prepare for the brave new world of e-technologies that will impact on libraries in the near future." -- Kay Neville, Library Review, Vol. 64, no. 3, pp. 269-270.
  • "This book introduces a panoply of emergent technologies in libraries by providing a fascinating snapshot of where we are now and of where we might be in three to five years." -- Margaret Beecher Maurer, Technical Services Quarterly, Vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 241-243.
  • "...provides a snapshot of where we are now and a good look at where we are heading. Read it, but do not wait too long...." -- Michael Heyd, Journal of Electronic Resources in Medical Libraries, Vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 90-92.
  • "For anyone writing strategies or interested in upcoming library technology or even just curious and wanting to learn, [this book] is a must read." -- Michelle McLean, Australian Library Journal, Vol. 64, no. 1, March 2015. p. 74.
  • "This brief and practical work accomplishes its goal of providing an accessible overview of the technological landscape facing the profession." -- Fred Rowland, portal: Libraries and the Academy, Vol. 15, no. 1, January 2015, p. 203.
  • "Anyone in libraries who wishes to have an impact on that future would be advised to seek out books like this one." -- Mike Waugh, Catholic Library World, Vol. 85, no. 2, December 2014, pp. 135-6.
  • "This is a compact and readable book, with the chapters more or less following a predictable structure of explaining the technology in an intelligent yet simple way, how its features are currently applied, where in the future it could go, what is needed to make this happen, and the benefits of uptake for various libraries and user needs." -- Leah Pengelly, New Zealand Library & Information Management Journal, Vol. 55, no 1, December 2014, p. 30.
  • "...Each chapter provides an overview of technologies that libraries may want to begin thinking about for future implementation." -- Journal of Electronic Resources Librarianship, Vol. 26, Iss. 4, 2014, pp. 309-400.
  • "This is a good book to read to get a feel for some of the new technologies which may impact your library." -- Online Searcher, November/December 2014, Vol. 38, Issue 6, pp. 78-9.