Top Technology Trends, 2002 ALA Midwinter Meeting

Technology and library users: LITA Experts identify trends to watch

The 2002 Midwinter Top Tech Trends Experts' Discussion was held January 20th in New Orleans. Experts attending included  Marshall BreedingKaren CoyleWalt CrawfordClifford LynchTom PetersJoan Frye Williams, and  Tom Wilson. Previous trends such as the ongoing Copyright debate featured prominently in the discussion, as well as the new ones listed below. An underlying theme to a lot of the trends was the explosive growth of information, and what trends are emerging from this phenomenon that libraries need to be monitoring (e.g. Broadband, Storage, new Search Interfaces, etc.)

Top Technology Trends

Trend #1:  Security

Trend #2:  Self-Publishing (Amateur Fiction)

Trend #3:  Storage and Organization of Mass Data

Trend #4:  New Search Interfaces (OPACs and otherwise)

Trend #5:  Broadband

    (Viruses and Other Software Vulnerabilities)

The software that libraries commonly use is vulnerable to viruses and other security threats. Administrators must be aware of the threats and continually update their systems. If administrators are not vigilant, malicious users will likely exploit security holes.
A short tutorial on viruses, by Infopeople.
Tips for security public access computers, by Infopeople.
A 2002 article in Ariadne about how to increase users’ awareness of web vulnerabilities.
“Defending Your Library Network.” Marshall Breeding’s tips for protecting Windows servers against worms and viruses.,,sid14_gci213306,00.html
Basic background on viruses, included definitions and links to sites for further information.’s up-to-date listing of Microsoft security holes.
Windows and .Net Magazine’s Network up-to-date listing of security information for network administrators.,4161,2248291,00.html
ZDNet’s tips for protecting against computer viruses.

    (Amateur Fiction)

In addition to the links below, check the Web sites of other major writing organizations or commercial self-publishing services.

Fan Fiction on the Net - A directory of fan fiction inspired by movies, TV shows or books.

FanFiction.Net - A searchable directory of fan fiction. Also includes columns about writing fan fiction and a listserv.

"Author to Self-Publish Potter Parody," Publisher's Weekly (December 24, 2001)
A good example of how an author spurned by larger commercial publishers is opting to self-publish.

Subsidy and Vanity Publishers - This site from the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) organization offers some basic definitions of royalty, vanity, subsidy and self publishing, as well as a list of warnings to authors and links to related sites.

Self-Publishing - Geared towards the writer considering self-publishing. Includes links to an FAQ, a step-by-step guide and related articles and sites.

Librarian's Guide to Zines - A brief introduction to zines.


    (OPACs and otherwise)

SFX and MetaLib by ExLibris - and
These products by ExLibris provide reference linking within sources (SFX) or a simpler search interface from which users can begin their research (MetaLib).

TopicMap at the Library of Science and Medicine (Stanford University) -
A special Java applet designed to help you navigate topics on HighWire in a graphical form. The intent is to give you a sense of context while navigating a large, tree-structured database.


Broadband Internet -
A research source for the "broadband community", this site includes information on publications, research & reference, history, hardware, software -
Focuses on the technological changes in the converging telecom and cable broadband markets and includes free and/or subscription sections for news, research, tools & services

Broadband Background Links -
A webliography of links put together for the "Columbia Institute for Tele-Information" 2001 conference titled "Broadband Economy: The Emerging Market System in Bandwidth"

Emerging Technologies in Broadband -'s guide to leading trends in the broadband industry, including links to broadband providers, news, and standards -
Offers free and/or subscription news and resource guides about the industry, as well as a "Buyer's Guide and RFP Center"