The Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know: A LITA Guide—eEditions e-book

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  • Table of Contents
  • About the author
  • Reviews

While it's inspiring to ponder the libraries of the 22nd century, it's a lot more practical to think ahead to the next five years. That's just what Varnum and his hand-picked team of contributors have done, showing library technology staff and administrators where to invest time and money to receive the greatest benefits. Their ideas will stimulate strategic thinking and help library staff make informed decisions about meeting user expectations and delivering services. This compendium offers an expert-level view of the library technology that’s just around the corner.


 Introduction Impetus to Innovate: Convergence and Library Trends

A. J. Million and Heather Lea Moulaison

Hands-Free Augmented Reality: Impacting the Library Future

Brigitte Bell and Terry Cottrell

Libraries and Archives Augmenting the World

William Denton

The Future of Cloud-Based Library Systems

Steven K. Bowers and Elliot J. Polak

Library Discovery: From Ponds to Streams

Kenneth J. Varnum

Exit as Strategy: Web Services as the New Websites for Many Libraries

Anson Parker, V. P. Nagraj. and David Moody

Reading and Non-Reading: Text Mining in Critical Practive

Devin Higgins

Bigger, Better, Together: Building the Digital Library of the Future

Jeremy York

The Case for Open Hardware in Libraries

Jason Griffey

About the Contributors Index

Kenneth J. Varnum

Kenneth J. Varnum is the Senior Program Manager for Discovery, Delivery, and Library Analytics at the University of Michigan Library. In this role, Ken is responsible for the library's discovery interfaces (the "MLibrary" single search tool, ArticlesPlus, Search Tools, etc.), delivery interfaces, and the library's evolving and emerging analytics infrastructure. He received a master's degree from the University of Michigan's School of Information and his Bachelor of Arts from Grinnell College. Over his two decades working with public-facing technology in academic, corporate, and special libraries, he has gained a deep appreciation and understanding of the need to tailor systems and interfaces to the local user base. A frequent speaker and author, Ken presents and writes about discovery systems, library analytics, and technology. In addition to numerous articles and chapters, he wrote Drupal in Libraries (2012), edited Lorcan Dempsey's The Network Reshapes the Library (2014), and compiled four books, including Exploring Discovery: The Front Door to Your Library’s Licensed and Digitized Content (2016), Beyond Reality: Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed Reality in the Library (2019) and the LITA Guide New Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know (2019). He blogs at and can be found on Twitter at @varnum.

"The chapters are well written and give enough information to help librarians brainstorm what could be the next big thing for their libraries … Another important aspect of this book is that it briefly discusses theories and concepts such as technological convergence and augmented reality that influence the adoption of a particular emerging technology. These concepts help stimulate strategic thinking on which technology is suitable for a particular library considering the user needs and availability of technical skills among the librarians."

"Contains excellent advice about defining the library's context, goals, needs, and abilities as a means of discerning which technologies to adopt … This book introduces a panoply of emergent technologies in libraries by providing a fascinating snapshot of where we are now and of where we might be in three to five years."
— Technical Services Quarterly

"Librarians looking to better understand current trends and future directions will find this an excellent starting point. The book is highly recommended for all libraries."
— Reference Reviews