Magazine article American Libraries

Librarians Library: New Technology, New Skills

Magazine article American Libraries

Librarians Library: New Technology, New Skills

Article excerpt

Technology has been changing libraries for as long as baby boomers have been in the workforce, or longer, if you consider that typewriters supplanted "library hand." The internet increased the complexity and diversity of this change, enabling librarians--or anyone, really--to access information in more formats and in more ways. Effective use of these new means of accessing information requires new skills on the part of librarians so that they can become effective information guides to library users.

What is a mashup anyway? And why would you want one? These questions are addressed in More Library Mashups: Exploring New Ways to Deliver Library Data, edited by Nicole C. Engard. The first question is best answered by an example: the campfire s'more. It is the merging of distinctly different foods into a new one. Applied to information sources, mashups are s'mores that enable their creator to pull content from disparate sources to create a new resource. The chapters cover the basics: mashups for library websites, using them for value-added services, and mashing up catalog data.

INDEXED. INFORMATION TODAY, 2015. 376 P. $45. 978-1-57387-498-4

Sometimes a new technology, say, a website, can offer better approaches to nontechnological issues. Web developers must consider the user experience (UX) when planning a new website. Aaron Schmidt and Amanda Etches apply the principles of UX to other aspects of library functions in Useful, Usable, Desirable: Applying User Experience Design to Your Library. They demonstrate how UX principles can be applied to the parking lot, the library card, signage, online reference, classes, and other touch-points of the user's interaction with the library beyond the website. They present techniques for researching user behavior and tips for incorporating the results into improvements throughout the library.

INDEXED. ALA EDITIONS, 2014.216 P. $65. 978-0-8389-1226-3

Some suspect students use only Google as both the beginning and end of their research. Going Beyond Google Again: Strategies for Using and Teaching the Invisible Web, by Jane Devine and Francine Egger-Sider, probes how students can learn to use the deep or invisible web. The authors posit that limited search skills of users may render web content inaccessible, a deficiency that might be overcome through teaching new information-seeking behaviors. …

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