Review of “Shifting to the Cloud”

“Shifting to the Cloud” by Marshall Breeding (Computers in Libraries, Information Today Inc. March 2014)

“Shifting to the Cloud” is very much an opinion piece full of tech speak and jargon. Breeding has a thorough understanding of his topic and his audience is clearly those who love all things tech rather than the broad range of people who work in libraries. And with this in mind he really is preaching to the choir. Those who need to be convinced the most to shift to the cloud are the least likely readers.

Breeding’s arguments are mostly pro-cloud, so the article is not entirely balanced. And there is certainly a strong argument for it. But a little more time looking at the negatives would most likely make his argument stronger for most people.

[C]LOUD COMPUTING FITS
NICELY INTO THE LIBRARY
REALM WHEN IT DELIVERS
APPROPRIATE FUNCTIONALITY
WITH A LOWER OVERHEAD OF
EQUIPMENT AND PERSONNEL
RESOURCES. (Marshall Breeding)

Reading this article is not easy for the tech non-enthusiast, I’ll be honest, my eyes glazed over more than once. This is an important issue though, and it addresses one of the many challenges that are facing libraries today. If the functionality, access and internet speed can accommodate the cloud in libraries then it is certainly worth considering. Unfortunately, Australia’s poor “high-speed” internet access, particularly outside of major cities, makes the cloud a little less appealing.

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