Magazine article Computers in Libraries

Blue Skies

Magazine article Computers in Libraries

Blue Skies

Article excerpt

A couple of years ago, cloud computing seemed so retro--after all, we were computing via remote hosts back in the '80s--but also fanciful. Why would we want to move our proprietary and personal stuff off-site? At the same time, the new handheld devices (iPhones and iPads, etc.) we were buying made those of us with computer backgrounds scratch our heads about why we couldn't do basic computing tasks such as copy files onto them. And then it became clear: It was actually insidious. We were being pushed to the cloud by the makers of the new devices we had purchased.

Initially, there were vast concerns about security and privacy. Where, in fact, were these cloud computers located, and what rule of law applied to them? How secure were they, and who had access to them? What security and privacy did our business and personal files continue to enjoy? And, heaven forbid, what would happen to our stuff if the cloud service we were using suddenly went away?

Those are still things well-worth pondering as you consider moving your library back-office functionality or patron services to the cloud. …

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