Implications of Social Media

One of the more popular attractions for people to visit the physical locations of modern libraries is the free internet connection, and access to connected computers.  Wireless connection becomes increasingly demanded as more people bring their own ICT into the library to work, study and social network.

Libraries do their best to ensure these resources are shared fairly, often through policies about timed terminals, and requiring clients to join the library to access wireless networks.  Often these policies also make monitoring and collecting statistics on usage easier as well.  Such statistics can become important when placing bids for increased funding to better provide adequate internet connection.

Providing access is one of the important aspects of how libraries work to close the digital divide.  It is particularly important with the government moving its primary information point and access to forms online.  Another important reason is the requirements of many job applications to be submitted, if not entirely filled-out, online.  Job searchers can be among those in the community less likely to have private access to internet connection and personal computers.

Providing adequate access is expensive and the more simultaneous users there are, the less adequate it becomes as each user takes up some of the bandwidth.

As more people adopt cloud computing instead of using terminal or server based software and storage for work, access to reliable, steady internet connections will become more of an issue.  With their documents created, saved and backed-up on the internet instead of being housed on a local hard drive, they will be more secure as they are not prone to physical damage or malware that affects hardware, but will be no longer accessible offline.  Another advantage is that multiple authors can collaborate on the same document without having to send it back and forth between them.

As cloud computing is still an emerging trend, libraries should encourage the use of clouds that run on the most open source platforms, accessible by the widest range of hardware. By championing these, they could join early adopters in shaping the future of the cloud, towards a compatible, interchangeable, customisable platform.  The advantages to libraries in the future would include no longer having to purchase server-based software packages, and requiring less storage space on their physical systems.


~ by nomidale on January 30, 2012.

One Response to “Implications of Social Media”

  1. […] and be regularly reviewed to reflect the needs and expectations of clients and the community.  In Implications of Social Media two of these considerations are […]

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