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Library Tech Trends to Watch in 2018

Over the last couple of decades, libraries have undergone a transformation. Where they once focused their services on the lending of books, libraries now offer visitors internet access and the ability to borrow and read digital versions of many books. The introduction of new technologies to the library ecosystem has had many benefits, not just for the users of libraries but also for the staff who work there. The digitization of information and the ease with which large datasets can now be stored and accessed has meant that libraries have been able to streamline their services and analyze how well they are performing in much more depth than was previously possible. In this article, we take a look at some of the technology trends which have emerged in the last few years and which look set to continue to play an important role in the way that libraries operate and deliver their services.

Virtual Tours
Virtual tours have been becoming increasingly popular as a means of allowing people to view properties remotely. With the rise of virtual reality technology, virtual tours are once again gaining popularity. When the two technologies are combined, they allow the user to really feel like they are in another location entirely.

Teaching Kids to Code
All around the world, an increasing number of educational institutions are coming round to the virtues of teaching children to code. Coding is an incredibly useful skill to have in this day and age and is an absolutely wonderful way of helping children to understand computers, which they interact with every day. There are now many websites such as Code Academy, which allows users to learn how to code for free.

Libraries are the perfect place for students to develop their coding abilities, as they provide both computers and a selection of books which teach coding. Often, these textbooks can be very expensive, but in a library, students can make use of the books without having to worry about a hefty price tag.

Digital Lending
E-books and e-readers have become much more popular over the last decade and they offer a number of different benefits to libraries. Because e-books exist as digital files, they don’t require any physical space within the library, meaning that libraries are more likely to maintain a broad range of titles. They can also be lent out to multiple individuals simultaneously.

Data Management
Libraries are increasingly acting as local data centers. They often host a multitude of digital files whether they are on-site or stored within the cloud. It is not only digital books and other multimedia files (some libraries offer digital video rentals) that libraries host – they can also act as hubs with access to remote data storage systems. This allows libraries to offer visitors access to repositories which are inaccessible or expensive to access at home, much in the way that universities do. If you want to learn more about how libraries manage data, then consider studying a library science degree. There are a number of leading institutions such as Rutgers Online, which allow you to study a masters of library science online.

The role of libraries in our society and local communities is constantly shifting to keep pace with our advances in technology. 2018 looks set to be another year of innovation and opportunity for libraries.

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