DLPS Faculty Publications


In 2011 when I was given the opportunity of taking a research leave to explore a topic of my choice, I immediately thought of the changes in which we find information today both in our work and home lives. This was a natural reaction for me because ever since I had initiated my studies of librarianship and information science, I had been most interested in technology and its impact on libraries. This started with Professor Susan Artandi at Rutgers when I first learned of systems analysis and library automation and reached greater fruition under Professor Leon Montgomery's instruction on programming languages—learning PIL (Pitt Interpretitive Language) and FORTRAN—and their use in automating library procedures. It continued and gained greater steam as I pursued my career in administering first college and then research libraries.

In my administrative career I always tried to either be a pioneer in services enhanced by technology or be close to the curve. This was true when I initiated online database searching in the early days of DIALOG and also became an early adopter of OCLC integrated online services. At Western Kentucky University where I spent the majority of my library leadership experience, it was a priority that we serve as early adopters of technology that showed the potential of enhancing our services in some considerable way. I was fortunate to have a strong and willing faculty and staff corps to lead. As a result, we launched several firsts, including the first web site in Kentucky and also the first digital institutional repository (TopSCHOLAR). Nationally we also distinguished ourselves as we developed one of the first homegrown information portals, and, as mobile technology took fruit, one of the first library mobile sites. With the availability of iPhone apps, we released one of the first university library apps and also an iPad version of our library newsletter. And when social networking gained prominence, we were early Facebook adopters and Twitter tweeters.

Hence I lived and breathed the development of technology and social media throughout my administrative career. During my research leave and for awhile afterward, I looked at the background behind these significant contemporary developments in an effort to better understand them both for myself, and for you, the reader.

I hope you will benefit from reading this report as much as I did in researching and writing it. Changes in the topics continue to occur regularly and in this hyper-connected instantaneous world in which we live, are reported on almost every minute. I kid you not. Just follow the twitter commentaries of leading technological and social media gurus and you will understand what I mean, if your initial reaction is, really? To maintain the currency of my understanding of developments in the fields encompassed by the report, I will be posting entries in my soon-to-be launched blog, "Library and Tech Trends Watcher." I hope you will take a look.


Communication Technology and New Media | Library and Information Science