Cloud Computing, Smart Technology, and Library Automation

Cloud Computing, Smart Technology, and Library Automation

Lavoris Martin (University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4742-7.ch006
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As technology continues to change, the landscape of the work of librarians and libraries continue to adapt and adopt innovations that support their services. Technology also continues to be an essential tool for dissemination, retrieving, storing, and accessing the resources and information. Cloud computing is an essential component employed to carry out these tasks. The concept of cloud computing has long been a tool utilized in libraries. Many libraries use OCLC to catalog and manage resources and share resources, WorldCat, and other library applications that are cloud-based services. Cloud computing services are used in the library automation process. Using cloud-based services can streamline library services, minimize cost, and the need to have designated space for servers, software, or other hardware to perform library operations. Cloud computing systems with the library consolidate, unify, and optimize library operations such as acquisitions, cataloging, circulation, discovery, and retrieval of information.
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Libraries today face many challenges presented by the continuous development of technology and the rapid dissemination of information. With these challenges, the work of libraries and the methods for retrieving and using information are affected by technology. The rapid development of technology affects all libraries, in which they are experiencing a change in how the communities they serve, and society perceive them. Libraries today are seen by many as an anchor, the center of academic research, and community activities. Libraries are no longer identified as a place for books but as cherish spaces. The spaces within libraries are used to make connections, come together to learn, find information, use technologies, exchange ideas, and collaborate (Howard, Huber, Moore, & Carter, 2018). However, the effects of user expectations, in addition to changes in higher-education pedagogy, data management, scholarly communication, and the rapid developments in technology, have forced academic libraries to create new services and resources (Saunders, 2015). In doing so, libraries are transforming their campuses, offering information literacy and technology workshops, 24/7 virtual access to digital materials, e-Books, and adding innovative technologies. In this Web 2.0 fast-paced society library, users are no longer just carrying pencils and paper to the library. Library users are bringing their own mobile devices, including smartphones, iPads, and laptops. These trends are increasing the dependency on the Internet, and the need and desire for sources that are reliable and accessible. With the advancement in technology, patrons using the library no longer desire a quiet, isolated space for reading or studying. Instead, they have a growing need to be connected and collaborating with other users. Whether library patrons are visiting the library for research or studying the traditional library space with study carrels and endless rows of stacks does not appeal to users of today. Neither does standard Internet services meet the need of library patrons. Library user desire services that are available and accessible twenty-four hours seven days a week, anywhere and at any time.

With the continuous advancements of Internet services and technology, academic libraries and institutions are more visible on the web. It is resulting in a tremendous improvement in teaching and learning that provides an opportunity for libraries to be instrumental in facilitating the services and resources needed to support users’ research needs. However, libraries must simultaneously offset traditional services, such as collection development and instruction, with new initiatives. The library environment is further affected by an increase in online programs, online resources, open-education resources, and a need for library instruction (Collins & Quan-Haase, 2012; Stvilia & Gibraedze, 2017). Distributed computing is referred to as a synonym of cloud computing over a network. The word “cloud” can be referred to as a blend of networks, hardware, storage, and interfaces to deliver a service. The main features of cloud computing are agility, reliability, scalability, pay-per-use, on-demand service, resiliency, performance, security, and resource pooling (Ali & Haseebuddin, 2015; Basu, 2018).

Key Terms in this Chapter

API: Application programming interface is a software intermediary that allows two applications to exchange data with each other.

Worldcat: The largest online public access catalog (OPAC) in the world. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat.

Web Service: Is a type of API that almost always operates over HTTP.

SaaS: Software as a service software and applications on cloud that can be accessed through any browser with any device.

PaaS: Platform as a service platform that run applications acquired or created by user.

IaaS: Infrastructure as a service model that delivers computer infrastructure on an outsourced basis to support enterprise operations.

Internet: A large collection of networks where all types of resources are globally networked.

OCLC: Mechanism for facilitating resource sharing, built around a core of shared record keeping for tracking holdings within member libraries.

Internet of Things (IoT): Anything and everything connected to Internet and interact seemingly.

Cloud Computing: The collection of computing software and services that can be accessed via the Internet rather than residing on a desktop or internal server.

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