• Discuss ways technology is woven into library operation.
• Define public access computing and provide examples.
• Define and identify library acceptable use policies and other policies related to technology in libraries.
• Define Integrated Library System (ILS) and Library Management System (LMS) and provide examples.
• Identify approaches and tools for the design of instructional materials to teach others how to use library resources.
• Define Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and it’s role in funding libraries.
• Define e-rate and it’s role in funding libraries.
Technology systems are woven throughout library operations.
Some libraries have specialized professionals that deal specifically with activities such as digital preservation, cataloging, and web designs. However at other libraries, librarians have responsibilities that include all of these areas.
Many libraries provide public access computers and allow also users to bring their own computers and other devices for use with the library’s wifi.
Public Access Computing
Public access computing involves the availability and management of computers for public use. These computers may be used by many different types of people. As such they must be both physically and virtually secured to guard against both intentional and unintentional abuse.
Reservation systems are often put in place to regular access.
In addition to providing computer access, most libraries also provide wireless Internet access. In most cases, users may access this service using their own computer or mobile device. This service my involve authentication and may restrict access.
Librarians have a number of policies related to use of technology in the library. These policies are related to the use of public-access computers and appropriate use of other library technology.
An Acceptable Use Policy sets forth rules for the use of both local and remote library computer systems and technology.
From using the photocopier to searching a subscription-based database, librarians must be able to create effective, efficient, and appealing instructional materials for library users.
While instruction plays a primary role in school and academic libraries, it’s also an important service of all library types. In some cases, librarians may offer one-on-one instruction, small group workshops, or entire classes.
In addition, learning materials may be available online in the form of PDF files or short, instructional videos.
Designing Instructional Materials
Instructional designers begin by identifying a specific instructional need. For instance, library users may be having difficulty using the new self-checkout station.
Next, the designer identifies the characteristics of the people likely to use the station and considers the best type of instructional material such as a poster or handout. The designer breaks down the task into sub-skills and considers instructional strategies that might be used. For instance, photos or video may be used to demonstrate operation of the machine.
The designer creates the instructional materials, conducts a field test to determine their effectiveness, and revises the materials.
Many technology tools can be use to design materials including screen capture and screencasting software for creating tutorials for computer-based products.
Integrated Library Systems
An Integrated Library System (ILS) also known as a Library Management System (LMS) is an enterprise planning system for a library. An enterprise system is a suite of integrated computer software applications.
In libraries, these systems involve a relational database and software used by staff and library users to access the system.
The components of the suite of software generally include:
- OPAC - the online public access catalog accessed by users
Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA)
The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) is the only federal program designed exclusively for libraries.
Funds are managed by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Learn more at the State Programs page.
Funds are matched by the state and provide support for many of the digital collections and subscriptions available.
E-rate is a federal program that provides discounts to assist schools and libraries in obtaining affordable telecommunications and Internet access.
Technology is woven throughout library operations.
Many libraries have public access computers and wifi available for users. Technology policies such as an Acceptable Use Policy are important for libraries.
Library and information science professionals are often involved with the creation of instructional materials to support the use of technology and other resources in the library.
Most libraries have an Integrated Library System that support a range of library activities.
The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and e-rate provide funding for libraries.