Technology has completely transformed our libraries. From the moment computers were welcomed into libraries and connected to the internet, the role of libraries has continued to shift and evolve. Libraries now offer a number of digital services such as the ability to borrow e-books and the computers within libraries are also becoming more powerful and capable of a broader range of tasks. Libraries are vital centers of learning in our society and they are something that we should fight to preserve. In order to survive. However, libraries need to stay relevant and find ways of continuing to entice people through the doors. One of the most effective ways they can do this is to embrace advances in technology and find ways of deploying them that maximize their potential. Below is a selection of some of the technologies that all libraries should be looking to embrace.
Embrace the Cloud
Digital content is forming an ever-growing portion of a library’s overall offerings. It’s not just e-books either; libraries are increasingly offering specialized software packages, videos, and other multimedia content that has quite high storage demands. E-books are tiny files and only a small amount of storage space is needed to hold thousands of titles. The cloud not only offers a great deal of storage capacity; it brings with it numerous other advantages. First and foremost, by hosting files in the cloud, they can be made accessible to multiple users and computers simultaneously. This is much more efficient than having to store files on individual machines. Secondly, the cloud offers multiple layers of redundancy, meaning that automatic backups ensure that if something does go wrong with your cloud hosting service, your data will not be completely lost.
If you want to learn more about how libraries manage their data then you should consider a library science degree, such as that offered by Rutgers Online. Completing your masters of library science online will allow you to continue to work while you study and save you money on tuition and student loan costs.
Make Your Website Mobile Friendly
It is primarily children and young adults who make use of libraries and these groups are also more likely to browse the internet using a mobile phone. There is nothing worse for a mobile user than a website which is not optimized to display correctly on smaller screens. It is worth employing the services of a web developer to have a website that can be comfortably viewed and easily read on any device.
Maintain a Social Media Presence
Having a presence on social media makes it likely that your library’s profile will appear high up on the list of search results. This will not only increase your visibility, particularly among the young people who will form your core market; it also provides you with an excellent, simple, and convenient way of communicating with the users of your library.
Libraries have successfully embraced new technologies to continue to develop and improve the services that they are able to offer. It is vital that libraries invest in technology and that they constantly look for the best ways of deploying new technology so users of the library benefit as much as possible.
Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organisations