Tech Roundup

Technology Committee members here at Towson University’s Cook Library are always on the hunt for new technology applications to bring into the library or technology-related issues our library should be addressing.  As we scour the internet for important, interesting, or just plain cool examples of technology applications, issues, or news, we post links and  summaries with our take here to the blog.

Security and Reliability of Research Data Storage

Jonathan Rochkind recently posted a spot-on reflection on a Chronicle of Higher Education post about research data being lost during the crash of a cloud storage solution. His assertion that non-trivial tasks like providing reliable and secure cloud storage require professional specialists in order to get it right can be extrapolated to other technology services/solutions. In harmony with this is Mark Dehmlow’s ITAL editorial that people are one of our most (if not the most) important technology asset. As technology tasks that once required specialists become more consumable by the masses (an amazing thing!), the realization that other equally challenging tasks arise often gets lost. It still takes people with specialist skills and high emotional intelligence to keep the system together. I hope libraries and higher education remember this and don’t wait for IT disasters to remind us. – David

“Google, the fight to forget, and the right to remember”

This recent post by Jeff John Roberts over at Gigaom discusses possible long-term implications of a recent court ruling in the European Union which could give people the power to have search results removed from Google. The article mainly focuses on other examples of selective “forgetting” in European history. Although the ruling does not require the information be removed from the web, removing search results from one of the most popular search engines can relegate information further into the “invisible web.” – Kim

Internet of Things Will Thrive by 2025

Pew Research Center released a report about the “Internet of Things” last week, boldly predicting in its headline that “The Internet of Things Will Thrive by 2025”. We’ve already seen the emergence of consumer products that fit in the Internet of Things (IoT) category – fitbit, Nest Thermostat, etc. Security is a growing concern with the consumerization of “smart” (read: network connected) stuff. Ten years isn’t very long. How will we make our resources part of it? – David

Inventory Wand 

This piece of technology I saw at a recent conference reminds me of the television remote control – so easy, every librarian would want it! If your books are tagged with an RFID, the wand allows you to wave it over multiple books, in a bin, on a shelf etc.  and voila, on a computer screen a list will appear of the items. The list can be customized, allowing you to check in multiple books, find lost items on a shelf or weed the collection of books which fit a specific parameter. I have three words for you: I need one. – Laksamee

Cataloging your home library

 In case you can’t get enough information organization at work, the lull of the summer months could be a great time to catalog your home collection of books. This post from Emily VanBuren over at Inside Higher Ed’s Grad Hacker column briefly reviews 7 apps that can help you on your way! – Kim


What do you think about some of the issues or technologies presented?  Have you found anything interesting online this week? Share in the comments!