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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