Hip, Hipper, Hippest?
by Kathy Dempsey
Of all our issue themes, I find this one the most fascinating
of the year. When we put out the call for articles on
Hip High-Tech, we never know what we're going to get.
This year, the article queries were very diverse. Since
what's über-hip to some librarians is old hat to
others, I tried to choose articles that covered a range
Buying a lot of new computers and networking them
together is a high-tech venture, and setting up network
printing raises the degree of difficulty. Doing all
that in a matter of months, while renovating your library,
hikes up the difficulty factor again. And these librarians
did hit some snags. It got to the point that their print-card
system vendor declared a "national emergency"! But with
quick thinking, technology trade-offs, and extensive
cooperation, the librarians, IT staff, and vendors built
an advanced printing network during much-needed library
remodeling. Compare their "before" and "after" situations
starting on page 10.
You know there are applications that let people communicate
online in real time. But were you aware that there's
one that lets people share live, online library programs
around the globe? And that the software allows the blind
to participate in the chatter? The things that Illinois
folks are doing with OPAL, Online Programming for All
Libraries, are pretty cool. Check it out on page 18.
But you can't get much more hip and high-tech than
having a robotic system doing some of your work! CIL
tells you what it took for one library team to install
a true automated storage and retrieval system. It takes
requests from the OPAC and fetches the stored books
automatically so patrons can use them within minutes.
Turn the page to read about seriously hip high-tech!
Kathy Dempsey, Editor
Kathleen L. Dempsey is the Editor
of Computers in Libraries. Her email address