January 20, 2022

ALA’s Office of Information Technology Policy Releases “Digital Futures” Report

The following report was released online today by ALA’s Office of Information Technology Policy (OITP). It was guest edited by Alan S. Inouye, director of OITP.

The complete report runs 44 pages.

From a Summary/News Release:

Moving ahead is the overarching theme of the new digital supplement Digital Futures from American Libraries magazine.

This report from the American Library Association (ALA) features articles both on how libraries are innovating and leading, as well as paths ahead for taking the initiative.


Articles Included in the Report

  •  In “Click, Click, Read,” Micah May, director of business development at New York Public Library (NYPL), and James English, Library Simplified product owner at NYPL, tell the story of Library Simplified, a service under development that may ease ebook access for library users.
  • Larra Clark, deputy director of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP), describes some of the digital innovation project ideas recently funded by the Knight Foundation in “Empowering Libraries to Innovate.”
  • “Building Out the Book Niches,” Shannon Okey, publisher of Cooperative Press, makes the case for heightened attention to smaller publishers.
  • Tim McCall, former vice president at Penguin Group USA, posits that the education market will be the next big disruption for libraries and ebooks “Digital Library 2.0.”
  • “ALA’s DCWG, Ebooks, and Directions,” Carolyn Anthony, director, Skokie (Ill.) Public Library, brings together these threads and other ALA priority directions.
  • James G. Neal, university librarian emeritus at Columbia University, warns us that “we are in trouble” regarding born-digital materials and digital preservation in his article “Preserving the Born-Digital Record.”
  • There are some specific actions that we can take to improve our management of digital privacy in libraries and upgrade the user experience, explains Eric Hellman, president of Gluejar, in “Toward the Post-Privacy Library?”
  • Sari Feldman, executive director of the Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL) and ALA president-elect and Hallie Rich, director of communications and external relations at CCPL, urge us to reconsider how we can recruit the best and brightest into librarianship and what skills these students must possess in “Transforming the Library Profession.”
  • Vailey Oehlke, director of the Multnomah County (Ore.) Library and president-elect of the Public Library Association and Alan S. Inouye conclude the supplement with “A Policy Revolution for Digital Content,” which lays out an overall framework for how the library community needs to be ever-more proactive in its national policy advocacy.

Digital Futures is the fifth American Libraries magazine supplement on ebooks and digital content.

Direct to Full Text Report

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.