Best Technologies for Public Libraries: Policies, Programs, and Services

Libraries Unlimited. Jan. 2020. ISBN 9781440869280. pap. $55. PRO MEDIA.
Emerging technologies present both opportunities and challenges for library staff. DeCristofaro (technology librarian, P.L., Holbrook, NY), James Hutter (head computer svcs, Washington P.L., NY), and Nick Tanzi (assistant director, South Huntington P.L.) draw on expertise and interviews to advise library staff on selecting and using new technologies: 3D printing, drones, virtual reality, and augmented reality. For each they provide an overview, possible uses, policy considerations, and staff training issues. The authors emphasize the importance of training and policies; for instance, before introducing 3D printing, the library must consider whether printing firearms will be permitted, and when integrating virtual reality, the library must decide why it’s needed as well as goals for its use. The book offers programming ideas for each technology, and the appendix includes sample policies along with forms and procedures that can be adapted.
VERDICT Librarians will find useful advice as they evaluate, select, and integrate new technologies. The book can be read à la carte to consider a specific technology or cover to cover for an overview of a range of possibilities.
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