Applying Library Values to Emerging Technology: Decision-Making in the Age of Open Access, Maker Spaces, and the Ever-Changing Library (Publications in Librarianship #72)

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Peter D. Fernandez and Kelly Tilton


Every year, emerging technologies are more deeply integrated into libraries and the lives of the users they serve. These technologies are not simply neutral tools—they come embedded with their own sets of assumptions and values. As users and creators of technologies, as well as institutions that are part of the fabric of their communities, libraries must uphold the values of the profession—values that are often in tension with one another, and with the values embedded in the technology that is available—while effectively meeting the evolving needs of their users.

Applying Library Values to Emerging Technology: Decision-Making in the Age of Open Access, Maker Spaces, and the Ever-Changing Library offers a wide range of perspectives on how to interpret and apply library values in the context of emerging technologies. Authors include academic librarians, public librarians, and professors, and contributors from the Library Freedom Project, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the Free Ebook Foundation, Creative Commons, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Tor Project, the Center for Information Policy Research, and the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education. Divided into two sections—Contemplating Library Values and Applying Library Values—and using the ALA’s Core Values of Librarianship as the primary reference point, chapters emphasize the underlying frameworks that guide librarian practice and capture practical, real-world applications that can ideally serve as a starting point for other librarians encountering similar issues, even if the specific technology or set of values may differ.

The technology that libraries utilize will inevitably help define the library, its patrons, and, through them, the world. Many of the issues raised here do not have easy answers. Values are meant to endure the test of time but must interact appropriately with the immediate challenge, the larger society, and the reality of the technological options available. Libraries must actively engage with the implications of their values, informed by their particular context. Applying Library Values to Emerging Technology will help all librarians develop a more nuanced understanding of both the technology and the profession’s values, and help ensure that our values are realized in our decisions.

Sku: 9780838989395

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