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Lessons Learned from Computers in Libraries

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The following is a guest post by Jacinda Gill, Supervisory Information Technology Specialist in our Information Technology Office.

There was something for everyone at the 2011 Computers in Libraries Conference. As a Supervisory Information Technology Specialist at the Law Library of Congress, I would highly recommend that my peers attend this conference. I gained a greater understanding of the library business, IT techniques, evolution, and best practices by attending.

Some buzz words I heard repeatedly were Self Service, eBooks, ILS (Integrated Library System) and IP authentication. In addition, I picked up a couple of valuable books: Technology Training in Libraries, Core Technology Competencies for Librarians and Library Staff, and Securing Library Technology.

I found the presentation Demonstrating the Impact of Public Access Technology quite interesting from the standpoint of how American libraries are used and the results of a national survey on who uses public libraries.  If interested, you can read the complete report, Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries.

Based on what I have observed, I have come to the conclusion that all libraries deal with resource demands and budget limitations.  As far as IT, we have accomplished a lot, yet there are still many IT-related challenges and opportunities ahead of us.   I look forward to attending next year’s conference.

Did you go to Computers in Libraries?  What did you take away?  What were your favorite sessions?

Comments (2)

  1. Provided that all you want to do is check email or just browse the web, library computers are great. But if you want to use the Internet connection for say, completing an online application with confidential data and/or trying to upload an attachment such as a resume, then you’re going to be SOL b/c library computers are locked down so repressively as to render them useless for anything but on-the-fly browsing/email.

  2. To BOYO,

    Are you referring to the LC computers or in your own public library? I live on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (I’m reading your thoughts and you’re thinking back woods or swamp people – neither of which is true). Anyway, our public library computers lockd down as well, but our adult patrons have free access to job sites and career related information. We give you a minimum of two hours, more if no one is waiting. You can chat, use facebook, youtube, etc. All except access pornography. What’s more frustrating are webs apps like adobe, flash and java that render site useless unless youhave the most current version. IT persons can keep up with the constant upgrades! I am not an IT person, but I think we are fortunat enough to have great IT people, who take good care of our equipment.

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