“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
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.
Job title: Library Professional Cadet
Organisation advertising: The University of Melbourne
Qualifications required: A recent relevant undergraduate degree in a discipline other than Library and Information studies. Must be enrolled to commence or continue enrolment in a recognised postgraduate library and information studies in 2016 and 2017.
Desirable qualifications: Particularly seeking candidates with an undergraduate degree in Science, Engineering, Education, Business and Economics or a relevant degree in Law.
Skills required: Passionate about continuous improvement and innovation with a proven record of influencing and engaging others with your leadership skills. Strong customer centric focus. Commitment to personal learning and development & proven ability to thrive in a changing and fast paced environment
Advertised on: The University of Melbourne website
Other: $64,623 – $74,227 p.a. (pro rata) plus 17% superannuation. Fixed term. Parkville location. A substantial discount to eligible staff and their immediate families in undertaking further studies at the University of Melbourne.
Job title: Library Software Developer
Organisation advertising: Edinburgh University
Qualification required: Degree or equivalent qualification in a software development related subject, or equivalent experience.
Desirable qualifications: None listed.
Advertised on: Edinburgh University website.
Other: Fixed-term, central Edinburgh, salary: £26,537 – £30,738 per annum. Main responsibility is to design, develop, deploy and support world class library software systems for the Library and University Collections.
Job title: Library Assistant
Organisation advertising: Spring Personnel
Qualification required: None listed.
Desirable qualifications: None listed.
Skills required: High level of customer service and communication skills, understanding of the Dewey Decimal System, processing of new materials.
Advertised on: http://www.cv-library.co.uk
Other: £11.21/hour, City of London, temporary position. Opening and closing the Library according to departmental procedures and locking the Library at closing time, ensuring security of the collection. Applicants from all backgrounds are welcome to apply.
RFID technology provides libraries with processing, tracking and security with a highly reliable and efficient system. RFID is a combination of radio frequency technology and microchip technology, it does not require a line-of-sight or fixed plane to read tags giving much more flexibility in it’s use than older digital and security systems. False alarms on exit security drop dramatically with the introduction of RFID and the overall read rate is pretty much perfect. The tags also last a lot longer than barcode tags so replacement is required less often.
RFID reduces the amount of time used for circulation operations and provides quick, easy self-serve options freeing up library staff for other tasks. Items do not need to be processed one at a time making both the check out and return processes much quicker.
Another advantage of RFID systems, which is unique, is the ability to scan books on the shelves without touching them, no tipping or removing them is required. A staff member can use hand-held inventory reader which can be passed across a shelf of books and it will read all of the unique identification information of every book. It can also to identify items which are out of proper order as well as updating the inventory.
For larger libraries it is possible to use the RFID technology in conjunction with automated materials handling. Conveyor and sorting systems can move library materials and sort them by category using RFID. For a busy library this would significantly reduces the amount of staff time required to ready materials for reshelving. The cost of automated systems makes this prohibitive to all but the biggest, most important libraries.
Job title: Wonthaggi Branch Manager
Organisation advertising: West Gippsland Regional Library Corporation
Qualifications required: None listed.
Desirable qualifications: Degree or graduate diploma that provides eligibility for associate membership to ALIA is preferred.
Skills required: Customer service experience in a public library environment. Experience with small office procedures, including banking and cash receipting and the use of a range of office technologies and systems. Experience with an automated library management system preferred. Experience with and an understanding of the Internet. A wide general knowledge and interest in local and current affairs. Experience with and an understanding of the Internet’s capacity/potential as an information tool.
Advertised on: http://www.wgrlc.vic.gov.au
Other: Full time. 11 static and two mobile libraries across the Baw Baw, Bass Coast and South Gippsland Shires. A qualification in a relevant field will be highly regarded.
Job title: Children’s and Youth Services Librarian
Organisation advertising: Vision Australia
Qualifications required: Eligibility for associate membership with ALIA. No specific qualifications are stated in the advertisement or the job description.
Desirable qualifications: As above
Skills required: Experience in delivering youth and children’s library services. Knowledge and understanding of child development and early year’s literacy development and support. Understanding of intellectual property requirements. Experience in planning and implementing digital literacy and reading development programs and activities. Ability to handle difficult situations in a professional and empathetic manner. High level of relevant IT skills.
Advertised on: Vision Australia web site
Other: Part time, 30 hours per week over 4 days. Located in Kooyong, Victoria. Australia’s leading print disability library service.