Top Technology Trends

Library Life with Universal Translators

A woman wearing an Mymanu CLIK earpiece, surrounded by the word "Hello" in different languages.

As a lifetime science fiction watcher, I’ve been patiently waiting for current science to catch up to the futures I saw on the screen. Tiny computer in my pocket? Check. Hovercraft? All good. Commercial space flight? Almost there. But when I saw the Indiegogo campaign for Mymanu CLIK – wireless earbud translators – I looked at them through my former public librarian’s eyes. My mediocre Spanish fluency would be replaced by effortless, instant, two-way translation, smoothing out frustrations and improving customer service. Imagine: A library staffer wearing an earpiece and holding a smartphone (translation app installed) asks the patron to speak into the microphone, then hears the translation in their earpiece in real time. The conversation goes quickly, and the patron is more likely to get the information they need, even if the materials are still mostly in English. Of course, there are concerns and questions. The key to most…

Original Content

Tracking What’s Next At CES

CES 2018 Save the Date Banner

It’s no news that technology is a part of daily life, or that it’s an ever-increasing part of library life. One reliable way to keep ahead of what might be walking in the door tomorrow is monitoring consumer trade shows, the largest of which is CES (formerly the Consumer Electronics Show, now just the acronym). For 50 years, CES has showcased hot new gadgets that eventually had culture-changing effects: the Portable Executive Telephone (1968), the VCR (1970), the Commodore 64 (1982), Nintendo (1985), DVDs (1996), Plasma TVs (2001), and the first big wave of smart home technologies (2014). Some of these had direct impacts on libraries, and others only in how our patrons live their lives. As the time from a technology’s introduction to its adoption gets shorter, staying on top of what’s happening at CES is becoming more important. A few years ago, librarians began attending South By Southwest…


Call for Nominations: 2017 ALA Annual LITA Top Tech Trends Panel

2017 ALA Annual Conference Badge

We are currently seeking nominations for panelists for the 2017 ALA Annual LITA Top Tech Trends program in Chicago, IL!  You may nominate yourself or someone you know who would be a great addition to the panel of speakers. LITA’s Top Trends Program has traditionally been one of the most popular programs at ALA. Each panelist discusses two trends in technology impacting libraries and engages in a moderated discussion with each other and the audience. Submit your nominations at  Deadline is Sunday, December 4th. The LITA Top Tech Trends Committee will review each submission and select panelists based on their proposed trends, experience, and overall balance to the panel. For more information about past programs and our upcoming MidWinter program, please visit


LITA Top Tech Trends Panel at ALA Annual 2016

Help LITA celebrate the kick off to its 50th year by participating or nominating a Top Tech Trends panelist. Submit your nomination here. The LITA Top Technology Trends Committee is currently seeking nominations for panelists to participate in their popular panel discussion session at ALA Annual 2016. We are looking for a diverse panel of speakers ready to offer insights into a range of technology topics impacting libraries today and into the future. Have someone you’d love to hear share their thoughts about current and future trends in technology? Want to share your own thoughts on some tech topics? Let us know what you or your nominee have to offer to the discussion! For more details and a chance to nominate yourself or someone else, visit this site. Nominations are due by April 15th, 2016. Spread the Word!!! Emily Clasper Suffolk Cooperative Library System LITA Top Tech Trends Committee Chair…


LITA Annual Report, 2014-2015

As we reflect on 2014-2015, it’s fair to say that LITA, despite some financial challenges, has had numerous successes and remains a thriving organization. Three areas – membership, education, and publications – bring in the most revenue for LITA. Of those, membership is the largest money generator. However, membership has been on a decline, a trend that’s been seen across the American Library Association (ALA) for the past decade. In response, the Board, committees, interest groups, and many and individuals have been focused on improving the member experience to retain current members and attract potential ones. With all the changes to the organization and leadership, LITA is on the road to becoming profitable again and will remain one of ALA’s most impactful divisions. Read more in the LITA Annual Report.

Original Content

No Rules

Librarians are great at making rules. Maybe it’s in our blood or maybe it’s the nature of public service. Whatever it is, creating rules comes naturally to many of us. But don’t worry, this isn’t a post about how to make the rules, it’s about how to avoid them. We recently introduced a new digital media space at the Robert Morgade Library in Stuart, Florida. The idea lab includes tablets, laptops, and cameras that can be checked out; a flexible space that encourages collaboration; tech classes that go beyond our traditional computer classes; as well as three iMac computers and a flight simulator. With all this technology, you would expect to find people lining up, but we’ve actually noticed that our patrons seem intimidated by these new tools. In 2012 the first idea lab opened at the Peter & Julie Cummings Library, but the idea of a digital media lab…


LITA at ALA Midwinter 2015

If you’re making the hop to Chicago for ALA Midwinter 2015 then check out all the great LITA events. Get full details at the LITA Highlights at 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting web page. Friday, January 30, 2015 There will be 2 Pre-conference Workshops from 8:30-4:00 at McCormick Place in Chicago IL. Introduction to Practical Programming with Elizabeth Wickes, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign From Lost to Found: How user Testing Can Improve the User Experience of Your Library Website with Kate Lawrence and Deirdre Costello, sponsored by EBSCO Information Services Costs for LITA Members start at $235 and you can still register at LITA’s Midwinter Workshops. Throughout the Conference LITA Committees and Interest Groups will be holding timely and vibrant discussions on topics such as linked data, drupal, games, coding, data-driven decision making, open source projects, user experience, library technology projects and more. Check out the Sessions web page as well as…


Top Tech Trends: Call For Panelists

What technology are you watching on the horizon? Have you seen brilliant ideas that need exposing? Do you really like sharing with your LITA colleagues? The LITA Top Tech Trends Committee is trying a new process this year and issuing a Call for Panelists. Answer the short questionnaire by 12/10 to be considered. Fresh faces and diverse panelists are especially encouraged to respond. Past presentations can be viewed at Here’s the link: If you have additional questions check with Emily Morton-Owens, Chair of the Top Tech Trends committee:


Meet your Board at Annual (including online!)

Hi! We’re the Board, and we’d like to meet you. Whether you’ll be in Vegas next week or not, there are lots of ways you can get in touch with us, get involved with what LITA’s doing, and tell us how you’d like us to represent you. Here’s your handy list of where we’re likely to be during Annual. Come chat with us! Social media and Online Hashtag: #alaac14, plus some special event ones listed below. Follow us on twitter: @ALA_LITA. You can also follow lists of the individual Board members: LITA Board 2013-2014, LITA Board 2014-2015. Like us on Facebook. LITA Board, Top Tech Trends, and maybe more will be livestreamed right here on LITAblog; watch this space for details. Programs and Social Events LITA Open House New to LITA? Want to learn more? Start here! Friday, June 27, 2014 – 3:00pm to 4:00pm Las Vegas Convention Center S224…


Sunday Afternoon with LITA at 2013 ALA Annual!

Please mark your calendars and join us at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference on Sunday, June 30th, beginning at 1pm, for Sunday Afternoon with LITA!  We will start off the day with the LITA awards and scholarships presentation followed by our Top Tech Trends program, moderated by Lorcan Dempsey. Then join us for the LITA President’s Program with Cory Doctorow, and finally, wrap up the day with the LITA Happy Hour at 5:30 at Fado Irish Pub! TOP TECHNOLOGY TRENDS & LITA AWARDS PRESENTATION 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm McCormick Place Convention Center S105a-c Panelists: Char Booth, Aimee Fifarek, Sarah Houghton, Brewster Kahle, Clifford Lynch, Gary Price Moderator: Lorcan Dempsey Presentation of LITA Awards and Scholarships will take place at 1pm, then join the Top Tech Trends panel from 1:30-2:30, for a conversation about trends and opportunities in libraries. Lorcan Dempsey will moderate the following trendsters from across library communities and areas:…