Monday, September 15, 2008

Question 3 – Emerging technologies changing our service delivery models

As new technologies emerge, libraries need to embrace these in order to stay current and service customers. Some of these technologies that can be implemented into the library environment are discussed in the article ‘emerging technologies changing our service delivery models’. These include blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, podcasts, vodcasts, web conferencing and instant messaging.

Traditionally blogs have been viewed as “an online diary” (Kajewski, 2007). It allows for multiple entries that are displayed sequentially via date. Able to be used by multiple users, blogs do not require authors to be experienced in web publishing. With the ability to be viewed by anyone, blogs are then ideal for libraries to provide information to the community and reach potential users. For example libraries could use a blog to communicate to users about new items recently acquired similarly to that published by the eastern regional libraries in Victoria as shown in the article.

The next technology to be discussed by the article is wikis. Wikis allow anyone to add information or edit existing content. Wikis are a useful tool for libraries as anyone can add to the content, for example, a review of an item. The article suggests that by “allowing everyday users to create and edit any page on a website is exciting in that it encourages democratic use of the web and promotes content composition by nontechnical users” (Kajewski, 2007). This proves not only how easy wikis are to use but also that anyone, with any background, can add information, in other words, have a say.

RSS feeds
RSS is an acronym for rich site summery or really simple syndication. At a basic level a RSS is a way to stay up-to-date with changes to selected websites without needing to receive emails regarding this or check each website.

The article presents podcasts an audio program that can be listened to whenever, wherever or however the user wants. This can be done via RSS, unlike ordinary downloads. The article suggests ways for libraries to use podcasts such as training tools for online resources, a teen podcast and library tours.
Vodcasts are similar to podcasts except for that it also includes video. The term vodcast is an acronym for Video On Demand. While the article does not have a lot of information regarding vodcast, it does suggest that libraries could use vodcasts to highlight achievements of the library and to attract people.

Web conferencing
Web conferencing is an excellent way to conduct meetings when participants are in different locations. They usually involve a powerpoint presentation and co-browsing of the web. Participants can see the same as what is on the presenter’s screen and can talk to the other participants. Another version of web conferencing is webinar, in which the discussion follows a set program with a start and finish time.

Instant messaging
In today’s community in which instantaneous response is expected, instant messaging allows for this technologically. Basically messages are typed and sent immediately to another user. Instant messaging can be compared to sms via mobile phone except that instant messaging occurs through computers. The benefits to reference services in libraries could be astronomical as clients can receive quick response to queries while being online.

Obviously there exist many new technologies that are useful for libraries, or anyone for that matter. Depending on the situation, certain technologies will suit better than others. Although using this technology on a professional level, it is worthwhile for promoting libraries and attracting new users.

Reference List
Kajewski, M. (2007). Emerging technologies changing our service delivery models, The Electronic Library vol.25 no.4 pp. 420-429. Retrieved September 7, 2008 from

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