Keeping Up with Emerging Technologies: Best Practices for Information Professionals

Keeping Up with Emerging Technologies: Best Practices for Information Professionals

I’ve just submitted the manuscript for my next book, Keeping Up with Emerging Technologies: Best Practices for Information Professionals. It will be published by Libraries Unlimited in 2017.

Methods, not specific technologies

There are many books and articles written for librarians about specific emerging technologies, but it’s hard to find a comprehensive resource for the best methods for keeping up and integrating new technologies into library services. So that’s why I’ve written this book.

This handbook covers a wide variety of methods for gathering information about new technologies, evaluating them, setting up experiments to help you match technologies with user needs, and finally how to recommend the use of new technologies in library services.

Using new technologies to make a positive difference in the lives of your users

The good news is that it is possible to deal with the information deluge without feeling constantly overwhelmed. In my 14 years working at the MIT Libraries (first as web manager/usability specialist, then as head of the user experience department) I had a chance to try out many different methods and techniques, and to benefit from the ideas of experts outside of our field. In this book I’ve brought together all of the most useful methods (tried and tested), in order to make this information easy to use in your library.

When you have a plan and a set of methods like these, you can design library programs and services that make a strong positive difference in the lives of your users. And you can keep up with the fast changing world of new technologies.

Who is it for?

  • librarians
  • educators
  • educational technology specialists
  • those with “emerging technologies” in their job titles
  • those who manage these positions and need to write job descriptions for them
  • library school students who want to follow this career path
  • those who are designing curriculum for this career choice.

Here’s the Table of Contents:

1. Introduction

  • Why this book?
  • Visionaries and implementers: two roles for this work
  • Challenges for libraries: technology staffing

2. Gathering information: sources and strategies

  • Introduction
  • Skimming and scanning
  • Newsletters, feeds, & groups
  • Multimedia resources: video, audio, and courses
  • Conferences and local events
  • Trend reports
  • Books
  • Popular culture and science fiction
  • Dealing with information overload

3. Gathering information: more strategies

  • Look outside your field or discipline
  • Categories of technologies
  • How far out to look
  • Visionaries and implementers – strategies for each

4. Gathering information: user needs

  • UX: User Experience
  • Types of user research
  • Examples

5. Inclusion, Ethics, and The Digital Divide

  • Following ethical debates
  • Diversity
  • Accessibility
  • The Digital Divide
  • Summary

6. Evaluating – On Your Own

  • Introduction
  • Letting ideas percolate
  • Note-taking
  • Curating information for others
  • Trends vs. fads
  • Summary

7. Evaluating – With Your Team

  • Hands-on play
  • Designing experiments and evaluating the results
  • Developing criteria
  • Project methods: design thinking
  • Project methods: agile, and “the lean startup”
  • Ideation methods
  • Summary

8. Moving Towards Implementation

  • Presenting to and persuading decision-makers
  • Passing on projects to implementers

9. Emerging Technologies Librarians – Defining Job Roles

  • Current job descriptions
  • Defining this type of position for your organization
  • What to do if you are a very small organization
  • Diversity and “performance-based job descriptions”
  • Template for your job description

10. Epilogue

  • Summary and conclusion

11. Resource Guide

  • Bibliography: books, blogs, articles, websites
  • Guide to mobile apps for keeping up with emerging technologies

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Podcasts for diverse audiences

Podcasts for diverse audiences

Are there many podcasts by and for people other than white male techno-geeks?

That’s something I looked into when writing the report, “Podcast literacy: recommending the best educational, diverse, and accessible podcasts for library users” (coming in 2017 from ALA TechSource).

Maybe not…

According to Pew Research, “They’re more likely to be male, young, have higher incomes, be college graduates, live in an urban area.” (“Podcast’s biggest problem isn’t discovery, it’s diversity,” Wired, Aug. 31, 2015).

But wait…

But as of late 2016, there is some good news. Edison Research, a group that has been tracking demographics of podcast listeners for over a decade says, “…In the early days of the medium, podcasting was disproportionally a medium for white males, ages 25-44. … but today, the content universe for podcasts has exploded, and the diversity of programming available rivals any other form of audio.”

So how do you find podcasts for diverse audiences?

One place to look is the site of a podcast collective called Postloudness. Based in Chicago, it’s aiming to create a community of shows by women, people of color, and queer-identified hosts. Their goal is to bring more diversity to podcasting and help underrepresented voices create their own shows.

Get my report

Postloudness is a good place to start, but there are many more diverse podcasts available. In order to assist librarians with recommending podcasts for diverse audiences, I’ve complied lists in the following categories:

◆ produced or hosted by women
◆ racial and ethnic diversity (African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, Native Americans)
◆ LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning)
◆ aging and ageism (elders’ & children’s rights)
◆ homelessness, poverty and economic class
◆ people who are (or were) incarcerated
◆ adult literacy
◆ neurodiversity and mental health issues
◆ physical disabilities

To get this annotated list of podcasts for diverse audiences, watch for my report from ALA Tech Source, available in 2017.

Learn more about what this report covers:
Podcast Literacy – table of contents

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Mobile Apps News: stay current with mobile apps

Win a free book in my Goodreads giveaways

Win a free book in my Goodreads giveaways

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Apps for Librarians by Nicole Hennig

Apps for Librarians

by Nicole Hennig

Giveaway ends May 23, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Selecting and Evaluating the Best Mobile Apps for Library Ser... by Nicole Hennig

Enter Giveaway

Goodreads makes it easy for authors to give away free copies of their books in “giveaways” managed by Goodreads. I have 4 copies of Apps for Librarians, and 3 copies of Selecting and Evaluating the Best Mobile Apps for Library Services to give away.

The contest begins on Monday, May 16 and lasts for a week. On May 24 Goodreads will randomly pick the winners and I will ship your free copy (US only).

These are for print copies — Apps for Librarians is normally $45, and Selecting and Evaluating the Best Mobile Apps is normally $43.

Feel free to enter both giveaways!