September 27, 2009

Public Library Apps

Just the other day I was sitting in a conference entitled The Future of Libraries (5.0). I was expecting to find out about new emerging technologies. While emerging tech was merely a side note in this otherwise informative seminar - I did discover a few new ways that libraries are utilizing technology - I was told mostly about how libraries are maintaining relevance during recessions because they are helping patrons find work. Ironic, eh?

Between speakers, I would check my email and Facebook (when the broadband would allow) on my iPhone and thought "wouldn't it be nice if public libraries could develop applications for iPhone?" Shock of shocks, DCPL already has. Of course this advancement is being met with some criticism. For instance, is this development an essential service for the average public library user? Does it serve to deepen the digital divide? Most librarians can't even afford the iPhone... Nonetheless, it is a wonderful tool and something to consider for future library users. Perhaps there is no urgent need for it now, but what about later when babies will be born with bottles in one hand and a cell phone in the other? At the very least, it is good to know that the technology is out there. As with most technology it will become less expensive and eventually available to most people. Hmmm?

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