Vol 58, No 8 (2022): November/December

Library Technology Reports vol. 58, no. 8 (November/December 2022) “The Current and Evolving Landscape of Bibliometric Tools and Technologies,” by Laura Bredahl.

While bibliometrics has been around for decades, with the recent development of new bibliometric tools, there has been a surge in interest in bibliometric services at academic institutions in North America. Navigating this rapidly evolving landscape can be a challenge for academic institutions as they attempt to determine which tools and skill sets will best meet their needs. This issue of Library Technology Reports, “The Current and Evolving Landscape of Bibliometric Tools and Technologies” (vol. 58, no. 8), will help guide decision makers and practitioners in their selection and use of current bibliometric tools and related systems, and it will offer some insight into future directions.

Vol 58, No 7 (2022): October

Library Technology Reports vol. 58, no. 7 (October 2022) “The Current Landscape of Electronic Resources Access Issues,” by Ashley Zmau and Holly Talbott.

In this issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 58, no. 7), “The Current Landscape of Electronic Resources Access Issues,” we discuss the current landscape of electronic resources access issues through the lens of the prevailing access tool employed by academic libraries: the discovery service. The report outlines the technical components through which library end users gain access to electronic materials through the discovery system environment and describes the common points of failure within them. The report also discusses the troubleshooting techniques and tools through which access issues are identified and diagnosed. The report closes with a discussion on new technological developments in library discovery and access, highlighting the new opportunities for access failure, as well as the initiatives aimed at mitigating these issues.

Vol 58, No 6 (2022): August/September

Library Technology Reports vol. 58, no. 6 (August/September 2022) “Improving Access to and Delivery of Academic Content from Libraries,” by Aaron Tay.

While academic libraries have traditionally focused on discovery, helping users to seamlessly access resources available behind a paywall is becoming equally important. The emergence of Sci-Hub into the public eye has led not only to more academic piracy but also to the discovery that academic users were using Sci-Hub for the sheer convenience of not needing to authenticate. This and other reasons have led to the suspicion that there is a need to improve and streamline the processes for users to authenticate and access resources available behind paywalls.

While the traditional solutions are IP authentication and federated access, we now have a slew of possible alternatives or improvements. These include initiatives like SeamlessAccess and GetFTR as well as the emergence of new third-party tools known as access broker browser extensions, such as Lean Library and LibKey Nomad.

Google has also been working toward a solution dubbed Campus Activated Subscriber Access (CASA), while the rise of content syndication partnerships between publishers like Springer Nature and ResearchGate gives the possibility of authentication using researcher profiles.

This issue of Library Technology Reports, “Improving Access to and Delivery of Academic Content from Libraries,” will walk the interested nontechnical librarian through understanding the fundamentals needed to plan for these new developments.

Vol 58, No 5 (2022): July

Library Technology Reports vol. 58, no. 5 (July 2022), “Designing Information Literacy Tutorials: Tips, Techniques, and Trends,” by Yvonne Mery

Even before the pandemic, many librarians were teaching online via video or interactive tutorials. But how do we know if our tutorials are any good? This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 58, no. 5), “Designing Information Literacy Tutorials: Tips, Techniques, and Trends,” explores how librarians can create engaging and effective tutorials that are aligned with how this generation of students learns. The report starts with how to design better tutorials by using newer, agile instructional design models and implementing adult learning theories. The next chapter takes a deep dive into one trending and successful approach: microlearning. Chapter 3 discusses accessibility and universal design. Next, we take a look at getting feedback from our users, and we wrap up with a look at some helpful e-learning tools librarians need to create better tutorials.

Vol 58, No 4 (2022): May/June

Library Technology Reports vol. 58, no. 4 (May/June 2022), “US Census Data: Concepts and Applications for Supporting Research,” by Frank Donnelly

More than just a ten-year count, the US census is a collection of high-quality, geographically detailed, and free and open datasets that describe the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the nation on an ongoing basis. This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 58, no. 4), “US Census Data: Concepts and Applications for Supporting Research,” provides readers with a crash course on the census: learn about the concepts on which the census is organized, the key datasets, accessing data online and through scripts via APIs, and considerations for using GIS, historical data, and microdata. Librarians will gain knowledge they can use for assisting members of their communities with census data and will see how the census can be used for library planning and research.

Vol 58, No 3 (2022): April

Library Technology Reports vol. 58, no. 3 (April 2022), “Thinking Differently about Library Websites: Beyond Your Preconceptions,” by Laura Solomon

In this issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 58, no. 3), we’ll look at the common preconceptions of library websites and web design and work toward understanding what makes a useful, relevant library website that is user-friendly.

Vol 58, No 2 (2022): February/March

Library Technology Reports vol. 58, no. 2 (February/March 2022), “Patron Engagement and Marketing Products and Services for Public Libraries,” by Marshall Breeding

This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 58, no. 2), “Patron Engagement and Marketing Products and Services for Public Libraries,” provides an overview of the technology products currently available to support library outreach and marketing strategies. In response to public libraries’ interest in proactive marketing of their programs, services, and collections, a variety of new products have been introduced. Each takes a different approach in providing libraries with sophisticated tools to support marketing campaigns or other initiatives to strengthen engagement with their communities. Many involve harvesting data and producing analytics and visualizations that aim to provide insight into the strategic performance of the library and the effectiveness of its marketing efforts.

Vol 58, No 1 (2022): January

Library Technology Reports vol. 58, no. 1 (January 2022), "Library Engagement Platforms," by David Lee King 

This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 58, no. 1), “Library Engagement Platforms,” introduces library engagement platforms, explains what types of interactions take place while using them, and illustrates why libraries need to utilize them to connect with their customers. These interactions take place using a variety of communication channels, including e-mail, text messages, and mobile phone notifications. The end goal of a library engagement platform isn’t the messaging; it’s engaging with that customer and moving them to respond and interact, or engage, with the library.


Vol 57, No 8 (2021): November/December

Library Technology Reports vol. 57, no. 8 (October 2021), "Using the Toward Gigabit Libraries Toolkit," by Carson Block 

The Toward Gigabit Libraries (TGL) toolkit was a project originally funded by a Laura Bush grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The initial phase took place from 2015 to 2018 and included on-site visits to test the toolkit in real-world applications. An important focus of the grant was that the toolkit should work for all libraries but should be especially helpful to rural, tribal, and underfunded libraries. A second grant was awarded in 2020, and while somewhat hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic, a new project (called Gigabit Libraries and Beyond) is underway to further refine the toolkit to expand reach to tribal and rural libraries and explore how the toolkit may be used in “tech desert” urban areas. This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 57, no. 8), “Using the Toward Gigabit Libraries Toolkit,” presents ideas for using the resources of the toolkit and gives examples of how libraries have used it in troubleshooting or training.

Vol 57, No 7 (2021): October

Library Technology Reports vol. 57, no. 7 (October 2021), "Library IT Management in Times of Crisis," by Jason Bengtson 

Crisis and disaster can strike at any time. During times of crisis, IT departments become even more vital parts of the organization by empowering libraries to recover and respond to challenges. At such times technology concerns, as well as leveraging technology to ameliorate the effects of a crisis, should be a major focus for libraries. This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 57, no. 7), “Library IT Management in Times of Crisis,” will describe different crisis effects, ways in which technology can assist in responding to them, and issues for library technology managers to be aware of.

Vol 57, No 6 (2021): August/September

Library Technology Reports vol. 57, no. 6 (August/September 2021), "Metadata Application Profiles," by Theodore Gerontakos and Benjamin Riesenberg 

In Library Technology Reports (vol. 57, no. 6), “Metadata Application Profiles,” metadata application profiles (MAPs) are discussed in two broad categories depending on whether or not they adhere to linked-data practices. There exist a broad range of purposes for MAPs, including metadata implementation and interoperability. MAPs have four components: the application, entities, properties, and values. MAP creators gather MAP components from already existing sources, including ontologies, schemas, vocabulary encoding schemes, and syntax encoding schemes. Implementers may present MAPs in human-readable, machine-readable, and hybrid formats. Several examples in the text demonstrate specific MAP features.

Vol 57, No 5 (2021): July

Library Technology Reports vol. 57, no. 5 (July 2021), "Cloud Services for Digital Repositories," by Jarrod Bogucki

A digital repository can provide a library or similar institution the capability to offer patrons a variety of media and rich cultural collections. Repositories can be robust, valuable resources, but for a library they can be large and potentially difficult to create and manage. Cloud resources offer a wide range of tools and services that can be used to build a repository of any kind and manage it in a sustainable, successful way. Subscription services, development tools, and virtual infrastructure can be used to leverage existing repository software or build a custom repository to exact specifications. Consider the capabilities and shortcomings of cloud resources when creating a digital repository.

Vol 57, No 4 (2021): May/June

Library Technology Reports vol. 57, no. 4 (May/June 2021), "Creating Adaptable Digital Preservation Workflows," by Erin Baucom

Libraries are scaling up their digitization, digital scholarship, digital archiving, and data management programs. All of this effort could be lost to a major failure of technology, a shift in administrative priorities, or a loss of institutional memory. The loss would not just be the materials themselves, but also the resources used to build and promote these collections to users. This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 57, no. 4), “Creating Adaptable Digital Preservation Workflows,” will help libraries create transparent and enduring digital preservation workflows that will help them maintain consistent and transparent practices when acquiring, accessioning, stabilizing, processing, providing access to, and preserving their digital materials.

Vol 57, No 3 (2021): April

Library Technology Reports vol. 57, no. 3 (April 2021), "Video Accessibility," by Carli Spina 

Video content is an increasingly important part of library marketing, outreach, instruction, and more. In order for this content to be inclusive for all patrons, it is vital that it be made accessible. However, large quantities of video content are still shared without adequate accessibility features, such as captions, transcriptions, audio descriptions, sign language interpretation, and accessible media players. This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 57, no. 3), “Video Accessibility,” will help librarians to understand these various accessibility features and how they are used. It will also give them the knowledge and tools necessary to ensure that the videos they share, create, and purchase for their collections are accessible to all patrons.

Vol 57, No 2 (2021): February/March

Library Technology Reports vol. 57, no. 2 (February/March 2021), "Mobile Technology in Libraries," by David Lee King

Most of your library customers own a smartphone, using it for a variety of tasks. They want to use their smartphones in and around the library. This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 57, no. 2), “Mobile Technology in Libraries,” presents tools and practices for giving your customers a great experience while connecting with your library. It addresses provisions supporting customers’ mobile use inside the library, such as Wi-Fi and charging stations, or outside the building, offering mobile access for basic library tasks. The report will show ways in which libraries are using mobile technology to address the digital divide, such as circulating hot spots or training, and how staff can use mobile technology to expand services in the community.

Vol 57, No 1 (2021): January

Library Technology Reports vol. 57, no. 1 (January 2021), "Data Visualization with R for Digital Collections," by Monika Glowacka-Musial

Since the 1990s, libraries have invested in developing digital collections and online services to provide access to historical sources. One way to inspire users to actively engage with these materials is by creating visual contexts for the materials. These visuals provide an overview of a collection’s content and inspire users to experiment with the collection’s data for various purposes, including research.

This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 57, no. 1) presents an approach that views digital collections as data that can be mined, analyzed, and visualized by means of the R programming language. R is open source, relatively easy to learn, and supported by an established community of coders. The selection of plots presented in the report includes R scripts, fragments of data tables, and some explanation of the R code used to create the plots.


Vol 56, No 8 (2020): November/December

Library Technology Reports vol. 56, no. 8 (November/December 2020), "Consolidation of the Library Technology Industry," by Marshall Breeding 

This issue of Library Technology Reports offers an in-depth analysis of the vendor and product environment in libraries over the past thirty years. Mergers and acquisitions have accelerated in the past decade, yet the pattern of maintaining products has nevertheless presented libraries with options and a competitive environment. The report draws extensively from data on vendors and product implementations.

Vol 56, No 7 (2020): October

Library Technology Reports vol. 56, no. 7 (October 2020), "One Country One Library," by Mirela Roncevic 

One Country One Library (OCOL) is an idea to turn countries into open digital libraries via geographic coordinates and to measure the impact of reading materials in each country. The platform, available as a web and mobile application, houses all types of materials, including books, academic journals, general articles, short stories, and guides. It serves as a digital reading room, a self-publishing platform, a learning tool, an information kiosk for tourists, and a powerful new evaluator of the materials’ performance and reader activities. Publishers are paid a participation fee per country and supplied with detailed analytics showing each publication’s score and impact. This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 56, no. 7), “One Country One Library,” sheds light on the idea as well as on the technology and the business model designed to make the idea sustainable for participating countries, libraries, publishers, authors, and organizations. The goal of the report is to present the OCOL idea in its simplicity as well as its complexity and to encourage librarians and other book professionals to consider building open national digital libraries that serve the needs of the widest possible range of users.

Vol 56, No 6 (2020): August/September

Library Technology Reports vol. 56, no. 6 (August/September 2020), "Library Privacy Policies," by Jason Vaughan 

Protecting patron privacy in an increasingly distributed online environment is a complex challenge facing libraries. Still, publicly posted privacy policies can empower patrons, allow librarians to share their professional values, and help support sound library operations in the event of information disclosure requests. This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 56, no. 6), “Library Privacy Policies,” shares results from an analysis of publicly posted privacy policies from one hundred academic and public libraries across the United States. Details on data types, why data is collected, how data is used and protected, and how data may be released are shared. Just as importantly, nuances in how policy text is phrased reveals a richness and emphasizes the adage that “It’s not always what you say, but how you say it.”

Vol 56, No 5 (2020): July

Library Technology Reports vol. 56, no. 5 (July 2020), "Digital Legacy," edited by Heather Moorefield-Lang 

This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 56, no. 5), “Digital Legacy,” addresses some of the following questions. How do library community members build their digital lives? Are libraries involved in the building and education of those digital lives? How do we as librarians aid our patrons in understanding the legacies they leave behind in a digital world? Death is a topic often avoided, but the legacy we leave behind in both our physical and digital worlds is important. These legacies deserve recognition. In this report we investigate digital footprints, digital legacy, and digital lives.

Vol 56, No 4 (2020): May/June

Library Technology Reports vol. 56, no. 4 (May/June 2020), "Virtual Voice Assistants," by Win Shih and Erin Rivero

With the rapid advancement of voice technology, smart speaker devices have penetrated many US households and businesses. Voice assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant, are embedded in a slew of consumer products and IoTs. Digital assistants act as intelligent agents interacting with user voices, responding with answers and support.

This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 56, no. 4), “Virtual Voice Assistants,” first provides an overview of the technology behind smart speakers and voice assistants, also known as digital or virtual assistants. It further explores innovative uses of such technology in library and educational settings. Next, the report discusses related issues of ethics, privacy, security, and trust, concluding with a review of future trends and advice for decision makers preparing for integrating voice assistants in their organizations.

Vol 56, No 3 (2020): April

Library Technology Reports (vol. 56, no. 3), How to Create Free Digital Breakouts for Libraries,” by Ellyssa Kroski

Digital breakouts are immersive online experiences that pose exciting challenges for players and along with them opportunities for libraries to engage patrons while imparting learning outcomes and problem- solving skills. In this issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 56, no. 3), “How to Create Free Digital Breakouts for Libraries,” discover how libraries are using these tools to offer information literacy instruction, classroom support, youth programming, and even staff training and how you can create your own digital breakout adventures for your library today.

Vol 56, No 2 (2020): February/March

Library Technology Reports (vol. 56, no. 2), “Moving Forward with Digital Disruption: What Big Data, IoT, Synthetic Biology, AI, Blockchain, and Platform Businesses Mean to Libraries,” by Bohyun Kim

Digital disruption, also known as “the fourth industrial revolution,” is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres. This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 56, no. 2), “Moving Forward with Digital Disruption: What Big Data, IoT, Synthetic Biology, AI, Blockchain, and Platform Businesses Mean to Libraries,” examines today’s leading-edge technologies and their disruptive impacts on our society through examples such as extended reality, Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT), synthetic biology, 3-D bio-printing, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and platform businesses in the sharing economy. This report explains (1) how new digital technologies are merging the physical and the biological with the digital; (2) what kind of transformations are taking place as a result in production, management, and governance; and (3) how libraries can continue to innovate with new technologies while keeping a critical distance from the rising ideology of techno-utopianism and at the same time contributing to social good.

Vol 56, No 1 (2020): January

Library Technology Reports (vol. 56, no. 1), “Digital Rights Management and Books,” by Mirela Roncevic

Digital rights management. Anyone who has in any way dealt with digital content in the past two decades has come across this term. It is talked about and written about in the context of all content disseminated digitally—books, films, music, and video games. It is the topic at every library and digital publishing conference and the subject of countless scholarly articles dedicated to trying to understand its impact. This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 56, no. 1), “Digital Rights Management and Books,” discusses digital rights management (DRM) in the context of books—popular and academic—and all who are part of the publishing ecosystem, including authors, readers, publishers, educators, researchers, librarians, and information scientists. Its aim is to provide a thorough analysis of what DRM is, what its main purpose is, what its legal implications are, who it affects, how it works, why it matters, why some believe it has done more harm than good for books and authors as well as libraries, what its challenges remain to this day, what may be possible solutions to those challenges, and what the future holds for DRM, including both those who support it (usually publishers) and those who vehemently oppose it (usually readers and librarians). Lastly, this report points to new ways in which DRM can be approached in the future and ways in which piracy and illegal online activities can be overcome more successfully.


Vol 55, No 8 (2019): November/December

Library Technology Reports (vol. 55, no. 8), “Blockchain in Libraries,” by Michael Meth

This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 55, no. 8), “Blockchain in Libraries,” examines the application of blockchain in libraries. Blockchain technology has the ability to transform how libraries provide services and organize information. To date, most of these applications are still in the conceptual stage. However, sooner or later, development and implementation will follow. This report is intended to provide a primer on the technology and some thought starters. In chapter 2, the concept of blockchain is explained. Chapter 3 provides eight thought and conversation starters that look at how blockchain could be applied in libraries. Chapter 4 looks at the barriers and challenges of implementing blockchain in libraries. Chapter 5 raises some questions around ethical issues that librarians should consider with respect to blockchain implementation.

Vol 55, No 7 (2019): October

Library Technology Reports (vol. 55, no. 7), “Protecting Privacy on Library Websites: Critical Technologies and Implementation Trends,” by Marshall Breeding

This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 55, no. 7), “Protecting Privacy on Library Websites: Critical Technologies and Implementation Trends,” explores the issues and technologies needed to deploy a library website with adequate protections for the privacy of those who visit. Without the implementation of standard encryption components, the online information-seeking activities of website visitors are vulnerable to exposure. Even when a site is properly encrypted, privacy can be circumvented through tracking agents placed on the site for analytics or advertising. Following discussion of the technical issues with implications for user privacy, this report includes the results of a broad study of the state of practice for these privacy-related technologies among public and academic libraries in the United States. This study reveals great progress among these libraries in the strengthening of privacy on their websites, though substantial gaps remain.

Vol 55, No 6 (2019): August/September

Library Technology Reports (vol. 55, no. 6), “Planning and Implementing a Sustainable Digital Preservation Program,” by Erin Baucom

More and more libraries are scaling up their digitization, digital scholarship, digital archiving, and data management programs. All of this effort could be lost to a major failure of technology, a shift in administrative priorities, or a loss of institutional memory. The loss would not be just the materials themselves, but also the resources used to build and promote these collections to users. Library Technology Reports (vol. 55, no. 6), “Planning and Implementing a Sustainable Digital Preservation Program,” will help libraries assess their current abilities, determine what they are committed to preserving, develop administrative and technological support, and create a digital preservation program that will be sustainable through organizational and technological change.

Vol 55, No 5 (2019): July

Library Technology Reports (vol. 55, no. 5), “Digital Media and Library Instruction,” edited by Heather Moorefield-Lang

Professionals in the field of librarianship are creative when it comes to the delivery of information and instruction. If face-to-face options aren’t available, we take to digital means, and there are so many options out there. Podcasting, vlogging, and edutubing are just some of them. In this issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 55, no. 5), read about a librarian and his podcast, a blogging librarian, a library professor with educational YouTube channels, and recommendations for strong flipped instruction delivery from the classroom or library.

Vol 55, No 4 (2019): May/June

Library Technology Reports (vol. 55, no. 4), “Librarians as Online Course Designers and Instructors,” edited by Lucy Santos Green

In this issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 55, no. 4), “Librarians as Online Course Designers and Instructors,” the authors explore how librarians can apply research-based practices for instructional design and online pedagogy when designing and delivering instruction for fully online learning settings. This report explains the role of librarians in online learning—as designers, instructors, or co-teachers. Throughout this report, the contributing authors address various considerations of online learning—ranging from fostering community and integrating social media to dealing with issues specific to online K–12 learning and to assessment and evaluation. Throughout, resources and recommended readings are provided.

Vol 55, No 3 (2019): April

Library Technology Reports (vol. 55, no. 3), "Micro-credentials and Digital Badges," edited by Emily Rimland and Victoria Raish

Digital badges, a type of micro-credential, have been heralded for the last five years as a key trend in education to provide competency-based pathways to learning. Micro-credentials allow for a unique way to teach students information literacy skills. Many libraries may be interested in implementing a micro-credentialing program but may have questions about design, mechanics, and sustainability. This report will give readers much of that background information. After reviewing the report, readers should be able to

  • define micro-credentials and the mechanics of using them
  • identify learning scenarios where micro-credentials can be beneficial
  • acknowledge the design considerations that are specific to badges
  • identify partnerships needed for a successful program
  • know the existing systems possible for building a micro-credentialing program for information literacy or library skills
  • feel empowered with knowledge to begin building a program

Vol 55, No 2 (2019): February/March

Library Technology Reports (vol. 55, no. 2), "Mastering Mobile through Social Media: Creating Engaging Content on Instagram and Snapchat," by Paige Alfonzo

In this issue of Library Technology Reports, Paige Alfonzo explores the ways libraries can maximize their presence on Instagram and/or Snapchat, paying special attention to the transitory world of Instagram and Snapchat Stories. She starts with a mini-case study based on interviews she conducted with 11 standout library professionals who are using the aforementioned platforms in very effective ways. She then builds upon these ideas to bring you a series of practical ideas, tools, and resources you can implement to enhance your library’s content on these primarily mobile applications. This report can be used by individuals at any stage of the marketing process from considering if your library is ready for Snapchat and/or Instagram to finding new ways to craft fresh content on your established account(s). Currently used by many librarians to tap into the exclusive world of the teen to young adult crowd, Instagram and Snapchat provide a unique and valuable communicative avenue to reach these demographics. The intention of this report is to provide you with considerations for platform management and offer new ideas and concepts to get your creative juices flowing.

Vol 55, No 1 (2019): January

Library Technology Reports (vol. 55, no. 1), “Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Libraries,” Edited by Jason Griffey

This issue of Library Technology Reports argues that the near future of library work will be enormously impacted and perhaps forever changed as a result of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning systems becoming commonplace. It will do so through both essays on theory and predictions of the future of these systems in libraries and also through essays on current events and systems currently being developed in and by libraries. A variety of librarians will discuss their own AI and machine learning projects, how they implemented AI and to what ends, and what they see as useful for the future of libraries in considering AI systems and services. This report concludes with a discussion of possibilities and potentials for using AI in libraries and library science.


Vol 54, No 8 (2018): November/December

Library Technology Reports (vol. 54, no. 8), “Index-Based Discovery Services: Current Market Positions and Trends,” by Marshall Breeding

Library Technology Reports (vol. 54, no. 8), “Index-Based Discovery Services: Current Market Positions and Trends,” provides an updated look at the realm of discovery products implemented in libraries, focusing especially on how these products have been implemented in academic libraries. The scope of this issue focuses primarily on index-based discovery services. This genre of products was established in 2009 and has since become a mainstay of academic libraries. Despite broad interest, the number of players in this product category has remained limited and constant. Throughout the report, Marshall Breeding shares data he has gathered describing the use of the following discovery services among colleges and universities in the United States: WorldCat Discovery Service and its predecessor WorldCat Local from OCLC, Summon and Primo from Ex Libris, and EBSCO Discovery Service from EBSCO Information Services. Almost a decade has transpired since the introduction of these products. Libraries have made a substantial economic investment during that period, which warrants a look at some of the patterns in which discovery services have been implemented in libraries and what trends we may anticipate in the future.

Vol 54, No 7 (2018): October

Library Technology Reports (vol. 54, no. 7), “Video in Libraries,” by David Lee King

In this issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 54, no. 7), “Video in Libraries,” David Lee King explores how libraries can leverage videos’ popularity to share information and enhance their marketing efforts. He explains why libraries should make and post videos and strategies for creating video content. Throughout this report, King covers varying aspects of making and sharing videos—from best practices to video content creation, including the types of equipment, tools, and staff resources you’ll need to start incorporating video into your library outreach and marketing.

Vol 54, No 6 (2018): August/September

Library Technology Reports (vol. 54, no. 6), “Virtual and Augmented Reality in Libraries,” by Hannah Pope

This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 54, no. 6), “Virtual and Augmented Reality in Libraries,” provides an overview of virtual and augmented reality (VAR) and how it can be used effectively in libraries. The report covers how to build a VAR library program and discusses devices best suited to meet your library’s needs and budget. Chapter 1 delves into the history of virtual and augmented reality and how it has become more accessible to library users. In chapter 2, Pope discusses the use of virtual and augmented reality in libraries and how these technologies are being used to enhance patron learning. Chapter 3 takes a look at the available VAR devices for libraries and recommends which setup works best for varying library types, taking into consideration different space constraints and library budgets. Chapter 4 looks at user engagement and potential real-world applications of virtual and augmented reality. The final chapter delves into the future of virtual and augmented reality and how libraries are able to help shape that future.

Vol 54, No 5 (2018): July

Library Technology Reports (vol. 54, no. 5), “Integrating the Library in the Learning Management System,” Amanda Clossen, Editor

Library resource integration in a local learning management system (LMS) can be streamlined through the application of the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard, which allows connectivity between the LMS and other learning tools. Despite its convenience, the implementation of an LTI tool can be a complicated process both technically and administratively. This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 54, no. 5), “Integrating the Library in the Learning Management System,” follows the case study of the Pennsylvania State University Libraries’ large-scale implementation of Springshare’s LTI tool within Canvas. Beginning with the data gathering that guided our strategy, this report will cover the technical aspects of implementation, with a focus on guides and reserves. Our exploration into embedding librarians within Canvas will also be addressed, as well as our outreach and assessment efforts. Through Penn State’s experience, major roadblocks and pain points will be illustrated, as well as ways to anticipate and easily overcome these challenges.

Vol 54, No 4 (2018): May/June

Library Technology Reports (vol. 54, no. 4), “Accessibility, Technology, and Librarianship,” Heather Moorefield Lang, Editor

This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 54, no. 4), “Accessibility, Technology, and Librarianship,” edited by Heather Moorefield-Lang, looks into the wide definition of accessibility for library patrons, both face-to-face and online, within the area of instruction. This topic is discussed in some depth in schools of library science as well as in faculty development and instructional design. This report will encourage readers to think more critically about the technologies that faculty and staff use to address the needs of all patrons served. This report will also aid in identifying and using new methods for addressing the needs of all patrons through a wide range of modalities (closed-captioning, transcription, sign language, video, text to speech, image to text, etc.).

Vol 54, No 3 (2018): April

Privacy and Security Online: Best Practices for Cybersecurity, by Nicole Hennig

It seems that every day there is news of a security breach or invasion of privacy. From ransomware to widespread breaches of private data, the news is full of scare stories. Luckily, there are strategies you can implement and actions you can take to reduce your risk. You can learn to see beyond the hype of media scare stories and better understand what’s worth paying attention to by following certain best practices. Using advice from security experts, this issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 54, no. 3), “Privacy and Security Online: Best Practices for Cybersecurity,” discusses the difference between possible threats and likely risks. Hennig discusses security best practices for password managers, backing up data, using public Wi-Fi, mobile devices, mobile payment systems, private browsing, social media, and more. The report provides advice on how to make your own security plan and concludes with ideas for sharing this information with library users and a bibliography of resources.  

Vol 54, No 2 (2018): February/March

How to Stay on Top of Emerging Technology Trends for Libraries, by David Lee King

Technology has changed the face of libraries and is continuing to change how we work and how we deliver services to our library customers. This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 54, no. 2), “How to Stay on Top of Emerging Technology Trends for Libraries,” focuses on personal strategies you can follow to keep up with emerging technology trends and provides you with suggestions for how you can incorporate these trends into your library. This report explores four major areas: why you should stay on top of technology trends, the trend watchers you should follow and how to follow them, practical ways to incorporate new technology trends into your library, and how to prepare for and know when not to pursue current trends. The goal of this issue of Library Technology Reports is to help you become better prepared for technology changes now and in the future.

Vol 54, No 1 (2018): January

Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design, edited by Jason Griffey

We are on the edge of a huge set of technological changes that will alter how we can measure library spaces. New advances in sensor technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning, computer vision, and more have brought the ability to monitor spaces in ways that were previously unthinkable. In Library Technology Reports (vol. 54, no. 1), “Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design,” I’ll explore these technologies and provide librarians and other interested parties with a look into what’s possible in the current state of technology for smart library buildings. Looking at three different projects that involved space metrics and analysis in libraries, this report shows how Virginia Tech; Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada; and the Measure the Future project are using technological tools to analyze library spaces to improve their environment for their users. Virginia Tech is researching how furniture movement acts as a stand-in for patron activity. Concordia University experimented with a project that monitored noise levels. The Measure the Future project is using computer vision to see how patrons move around in library spaces and derive “attention” measures from those movements while doing so with a strong protection on any sort of identification of patrons. Finally, we will look at what the next five to ten years of technological progress will bring and how that might change the possibilities for a smart library.


Vol 53, No 8 (2017): November/December

Combating Fake News in the Digital Age, by Joanna M. Burkhardt

The issue of fake news has become very prominent in recent months. Its power to mislead and misinform has been made evident around the world. While fake news is not a new phenomenon, the means by which it is spread has changed in both speed and magnitude. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are fertile ground for the spread of fake news. Algorithms known as bots are increasingly being deployed to manipulate information, to disrupt social media communication, and to gain user attention. While technological assistance to identify fake news are beginning to appear, they are in their infancy. It will take time for programmers to create software that can recognize and tag fake news without human intervention. Even if technology can help to identify fake news in the future, those who seek to create and provide fake news will also be creating the means to continue, creating a loop in which those who want to avoid fake news are always playing catch up.

Individuals have the responsibility to protect themselves from fake news. It is essential to teach ourselves and our students and patrons to be critical consumers of news. This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 53, no. 8), “Combating Fake News in the Digital Age,” is for librarians who serve all age levels and who can help by teaching students both that they need to be aware and how to be aware of fake news. Library instruction in how to avoid fake news, how to identify fake news, and how to stop fake news will be essential.

Vol 53, No 7 (2017): October

Free Reading Zones: Transforming Access to Books through Technology, by Mirela Roncevic

This issue of Library Technology Reports explores Free Reading Zones (FREZ), which are designated areas that provide people free and uninterrupted access to e-books through sponsorships. The report sheds light on what FREZ is, how it came about, who’s behind it, and what its short-term and long-term goals are. Roncevic explores how FREZ can empower the e-book industry—consumers, aggregators, distributers, and publishers—by equalizing access to knowledge and education in areas beyond thriving city communities. Describing her experience launching the first FREZ in a small European café and turning the entire country of Croatia into an open virtual library for one whole month, she shows how creating open virtual libraries can make reading more accessible and open. The goal of this report is to both inspire and motivate librarians to embrace the idea of open virtual libraries and attempt similar initiatives in their communities.

Vol 53, No 6 (2017): August/September

Open Source Library Systems: The Current State of the Art, by Marshall Breeding

This issue of Library Technology Reports aims to outline the major open source integrated library systems and library services platforms and their influence on the broader library technology industry. Chapter 1 provides an overview of open source resource management solutions and introduces the current landscape of these products in the industry. The chapters following closely examine the open source resource management systems Koha, Evergreen, TIND, and FOLIO. The report concludes by exploring the impact of open source products on the library automation environment.

Vol 53, No 5 (2017): July

3-D Printers for Libraries, 2017 Edition, by Jason Griffey

This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 53, no. 5), “3-D Printers for Libraries, 2017 Edition,” explains both the practicalities of 3-D printing and also its promise and potential. A better understanding of the basics and the theory behind the hardware is a great grounding for determining the best ways to integrate 3-D printers into your library services. Author Jason Griffey concentrates on the areas where much has changed in the last several years, starting with the variety of materials that are now available for printing. Then he discusses the types of 3-D printing software, including a relatively new set of tools that are designed to make 3-D printing much easier from a management standpoint. Next, he looks at the brands of printers that are available and how best to consider them when making purchasing decisions. And finally, he presents recommendations for library 3-D printing setups. This report will help you better understand the technology involved and will also provide you with a set of recommendations and best practices that will enable you to put together the very best 3-D printing setup for your library, your librarians, and your community.

This report is an updated version of the 2014 issue of Library Technology Reports 50, no. 5 “3-D Printers for Libraries.”

Vol 53, No 4 (2017): May/June

Applying Quantitative Methods to E-book Collections, by Melissa J. Goertzen

Collection development activities that involve electronic content require knowledge of quantitative research methods. The ability to calculate cost per use, identify usage trends, and provide evidence for collection development decisions are essential skills in the digital age. Because of the dynamic nature of electronic resources, particularly e-books, it has been challenging to create standardized methods that support routine evaluations of collection materials. While the term quantitative analysis can seem daunting, I hope this issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 53, no. 4), “Applying Quantitative Methods to E-book Collections,” demonstrates that it is possible to hone quantitative skill sets and develop an evaluation framework for e-book collections based around readily available quantitative data sources regardless of the size of an individual library system or equipment budget.

Vol 53, No 3 (2017): April

Information Visualization, by Hsuanwei Michelle Chen

Information visualization has been widely adopted as both an analytical tool and an aid to enhance and shape data interpretation and knowledge discovery in disciplines ranging from computer science to humanities. On the other hand, relatively less has been discussed, applied, or even understood in terms of its role in a library setting. This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 53, no. 3), “Information Visualization,” will share a comprehensive introductory piece focused on presenting a wide range of aspects of information visualization, including its definitions, major principles, and common techniques. Author Hsuanwei Michelle Chen will also provide an in-depth discussion and demonstration of how information visualization can be applied to a library setting. The objective of this issue of Library Technology Reports is to provide librarians and library staff with a better grasp of what information visualization can do for their institution. This includes pertinent information on how data analytics, communication, service quality, and work effectiveness can potentially be enhanced by using information visualization. The report also appeals to readers who are new to the field and would like to learn a new method of data analytics, as well as to the individual who is experienced in information visualization and is seeking further opportunities in the library field.

Vol 53, No 2 (2017): February/March

Podcast Literacy: Educational, Accessible, and Diverse Podcasts for Library Users, by Nicole Hennig

Podcasts are experiencing a renaissance today. More high-quality programming is available for more diverse audiences than ever before.

When librarians are knowledgeable about podcasts, how to find the best ones, and what purposes they serve, we can point our users to the very best content and help increase digital literacy.

Library Technology Reports (vol. 53, no. 2), “Podcast Literacy: Educational, Accessible, and Diverse Podcasts for Library Users,” will cover

  • Why podcasts are an important part of digital literacy
  • Statistics on podcast listening
  • The advantages of audio-based learning
  • How to find the best podcasts
  • The best apps for podcast listening
  • Lists of recommended podcasts for general audiences, higher education, teens, children, people with disabilities, and diverse and underserved audiences
  • How podcasts are being used, in context, in K–12 education and higher education
  • Podcast accessibility for people with disabilities
  • Ideas for how libraries can become curators and recommenders of podcasts
  • Resources for learning more

Vol 53, No 1 (2017): January

The Internet of Things: Mobile Technology and Location Services in Libraries, by Jim Hahn

Drawing examples from a case study of an Internet of Things (IoT)–powered mobile application, librarian Jim Hahn demonstrates IoT uses for location-based services in libraries. The case integrates Bluetooth beacons into an undergraduate library’s book stacks. With BLE (Bluetooth low energy) technology, researchers were able to implement a location-based recommender that relies on subject classifications in call numbers from which to provide recommendations based on location. Recommendations of digital content like e-books and e-journals can be provided from the context of the book stacks browsing experience. This report explores key technologies for bringing IoT services to libraries, noting especially the privacy and security issues for library leaders, system designers, and users of IoT services.


Vol 52, No 8 (2016): November/December

Social Media Optimization: Principles for Building and Engaging Community, by Doralyn Rossmann and Scott W. H. Young

Social media optimization (SMO) is programmatic strategy for building and engaging community through social networks. This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 52, no. 8), “Social Media Optimization: Principles for Building and Engaging Community,” by Doralyn Rossmann and Scott W. H. Young, offers practical guidelines for implementing this flexible and comprehensive community-building model, structured around five interrelated principles:

  • Create shareable content.
  • Make sharing easy.
  • Reward engagement.
  • Proactively share.
  • Measure use and encourage reuse.

SMO ultimately benefits both the library and library users by introducing a model for connecting users with relevant content, listening to the community, and building sustainable relationships.

Vol 52, No 7 (2016): October

Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, by Tabatha Farney

Libraries are actively using Google Analytics to monitor the usage of their various websites and online tools. This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 52, no. 7), “Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager,” recommends several Google Analytics features, including the useful Google Tag Manager that all libraries should be using. It also tackles the challenge of enhancing Google Analytics’ tracking ability for a variety of library-specific online tools, including link resolvers, online catalogs and discovery services, Springshare’s LibGuides, digital repositories, and social media websites. These best practices will optimize your Google Analytics to provide you with better data for improved website assessment.

Vol 52, No 6 (2016): August/September

The Knowledge Base at the Center of the Universe, by Kristen Wilson

More than fifteen years after its initial appearance, the electronic resources knowledge base has come into its own as a tool that touches nearly every area of library management. And the knowledge base continues to evolve, expanding into areas such as APIs, open data, community contribution models, and integration with next-generation systems. This Library Technology Report will analyze the impact of knowledge bases on library management practices and explore new directions and trends for these tools. The report will trace the evolution of the knowledge base, provide context for knowledge base creation and maintenance, and explore areas of innovation including use in library services platforms, integration with external tools and services, and collaborative knowledge base projects.

Vol 52, No 5 (2016): July

Improving Web Visibility: Into the Hands of Readers, by Ted Fons

Improving the visibility of library collections and services on the open web is one strategy in enhancing the long-term viability of libraries. The tradition of modern librarianship has been to focus on the efficiency of library workflow systems and technical processing and the accuracy of metadata against librarian-authored rules for metadata encoding. This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 52, no. 5), “Improving Web Visibility: Into the Hands of Readers,” by Ted Fons, discusses actions for libraries to take with regard to content exposure systems, vocabularies, content metadata regimes, and system design approaches that will serve the convenience of the web searcher and thereby contribute to the long-term viability of libraries.

Vol 52, No 4 (2016): May/June

Privacy and Security for Library Systems, by Marshall Breeding

Surveying vendors and ARL libraries, Marshall Breeding covers the current state of patron privacy in interacting with the library’s web-based systems. The report discusses key technologies and techniques for protecting patron privacy, focusing on encryption, the storage of data, the catalog, and discovery systems. It explores the many ways patron data and behavior may be captured in the absence of preventive measures.

Vol 52, No 3 (2016): April

Mobile Learning Trends: Accessibility, Ecosystems, Content Creation, by Nicole Hennig

The widespread adoption of mobile computing is a good thing for librarians who care about access for all. Mobile devices make use of “natural user interfaces,” and those interfaces are making computing easier for people of all ages and abilities. Mobile learning is headed in a direction that is empowering for learners of all abilities. Library Technology Reports (vol. 52, no. 3), “Mobile Learning Trends: Accessibility, Ecosystems, Content Creation,” focuses on three trends:

  • natural user interfaces and accessibility
  • multi-device ecosystems
  • content creation with mobile devices
It includes ideas for how libraries can use this information to empower their users and resources for learning more about these topics.

Vol 52, No 2 (2016): February/March

Learning management system (LMS) embedded librarianship is partnering with faculty to deliver research assistance for students right in their LMS course sites. This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 52, no. 2), “Learning Management Systems: Tools for Embedded Librarianship,” describes the LMS environment alongside the larger online resource environment of academic libraries. Topics include options for adding digital collections and finding tools; methods for creating course-specific content; and online tools for communication, collaboration, and citing sources. The trend of LMS embedded librarians is considered, as well as underlying principles of universal design, instructional design, accessibility, and copyright.

Vol 52, No 1 (2016): January

Erik T. Mitchell wrote Library Technology Reports (vol. 50, no. 5), “Library Linked Data: Research and Adoption,” published in July 2013. This report revisits the adoption of Linked Data by libraries, archives, and museums, identifying current trends, challenges, and opportunities in the field. By looking at services and research-related large-scale projects, such as BIBFRAME and DPLA, the report describes a trajectory of adoption. It looks at the vocabularies, schemas, standards, and technologies forming the foundation of Linked Data as well as policies and practices influencing the community.


Vol 51, No 8 (2015): November/December

E-content in Libraries: Marketplace Perspectives

Sue Polanka, Editor

Library Technology Reports volume 51, no. 8, "E-content in Libraries: Marketplace Perspectives," edited by Sue Polanka. Tis report presents an insider’s look at the e-content purchasing process among the market players: libraries, publishers, and aggregators. Editor Sue Polanka gathers three articles, one written by a public librarian and two by information industry executives. They demonstrate the complexity of purchasing e-content, present the concerns of different parties, and offer suggestions for working together.

Vol 51, No 7 (2015): October

Mobile Devices: Service with Intention

Rebecca K. Miller, Heather Moorefield-Lang, and Carolyn Meier, eds.

Library Technology Reports, volume 51, no. 7, “Mobile Devices: Service with Intention,” edited by Rebecca K. Miller, Heather Moorefield-Lang, and Carolyn Meier, gathers five case studies that discuss the potential of tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices alongside real-world constraints. From a range of institutional settings, the case studies address three general areas of library work: (1) circulation and lending; (2) teaching and learning; (3) access and design. Assessment is a common theme in the case studies.

Vol 51, No 6 (2015): August/September

Open-Access Journals: Idealism and Opportunism, by Walt Crawford

Open-access journals have become widespread in recent years, but so have misunderstandings about such journals, fueled by a lack of actual data. This issue of Library Technology Reports looks at the state of open-access journals as of mid-2014 and how they got there, based on visits to the website of every open-access journal accessible to a reader of English. The report shows the state of gold open access (OA), including the percentage of journals that require author-side fees (and the percentage of articles published by those journals), the number of journals and articles overall and by broad subject category, the apparent “gold rush” since 2006 within certain subject categories, and more. The report includes advice for dealing with gold OA journals and recommending them to scholars and suggestions for library actions to improve open access.

Vol 51, No 5 (2015): July

“Altmetrics” by Robin Chin Roemer and Rachel Borchardt

Library Technology Reports (vol. 51, no. 5) introduces the concept of altmetrics, including its relation to existing citation-based research metrics and to the larger academic community. Major altmetrics tools are presented and discussed, as well as social media sources that comprise the spectrum of altmetrics, and methods for evaluating new and existing metrics tools. Drawing on recent research and online resources within the field, the report outlines both the promises and major obstacles faced by the field of altmetrics. The report also explicitly explores role of libraries in altmetrics, such as the ability of librarians to serve as facilitators and communicators within their institutions, and to provide education and support related to altmetrics and scholarly impact. Various tips and resources are highlighted for librarians and administrators looking to stay current with changes in this rapidly moving field.

Vol 51, No 4 (2015): May/June

The genre of library services platforms helps libraries manage their collection materials and automate many aspects of their operations by addressing a wider range of resources and taking advantage of current technology architectures compared to the integrated library systems that have previously dominated. This issue of Library Technology Reports explores this new category of library software, including its functional and technical characteristics. It highlights the differences with integrated library systems, which remain viable for many libraries and continue to see development along their own trajectory. This report provides an up-to-date assessment of these products, including those that have well-established track records as well as those that remain under development. The relationship between library services platforms and discovery services is addressed. The report does not provide detailed listings of features of each product, but gives a general overview of the high-level organization of functionality, the adoption patterns relative to size, types, and numbers of libraries that have implemented them, and how these libraries perceive their performance. This seminal category of library technology products has gained momentum in recent years and is positioned to reshape how libraries acquire, manage, and provide access to their collections as they go forward into the next decade.

Vol 51, No 3 (2015): April

This issue of Library Technology Reports, "Coding for Librarians: Learning by Example," draws from more than fifty interviews with librarians who have written code in the course of their work. Its goal is to help novice and intermediate programmers understand how programs work, how they can be useful in libraries, and how to learn more.

Three chapters discuss use cases for code in libraries. These include data import, export, and cleanup; expanded reporting capability; and patron-facing services such as improvements to catalog and LibGuide usability. Most of the programs discussed are short—under a hundred lines—so that implementing or modifying them is within the reach of relatively novice programmers. Where possible, links to the code itself are provided. Several scripts are explained in depth.

Additional chapters focus on nontechnical aspects of library code. One chapter outlines political situations that have been faced by librarians who code and the solutions they have employed. Another chapter shares interviewees’ advice on specific resources and strategies for learning to code.

Vol 51, No 2 (2015): February/March

Gamification, which refers to applying gaming elements to a real-world activity, is not necessarily a new idea. But (1) the rapid adoption of the smartphone, (2) the tremendous growth of the mobile web, and (3) the increased use of social media have made it possible for gamification to be implemented in an unprecedentedly seamless, ubiquitous, and social manner, thereby transforming it into a portable activity interwoven with reality. This report explains the concept of gamification and how it differs from related concepts such as games, playful design, and toys; distinguishes game mechanics, dynamics, and aesthetics from one another; describes a number of gamification examples and projects in businesses, education from K-12 to higher education, and public and academic libraries; and discusses what they do, how they work, and how successful they are. This report also addresses a number of issues and variables that need to be taken into consideration when designing successful gamification for educational purposes, including the undermining effect of gamification’s external rewards on intrinsic motivation.

Vol 51, No 1 (2015): January

This issue of Library Technology Reports addresses the management of social media channels: setting goals, assigning roles for staff, and using analytical tools to measure effectiveness.