Cloud Computing, My Library System and Me

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I was just reading the Librarian in Black’s Blog from yesterday about Cloud Computing and it reminded me that I have been wanting to post about cloud computing and how it is changing my library and the way I save and access information. 

I love the term “cloud computing” because it is so fun to ponder that somewhere in the clouds is all the information I need.  It is in most basic terms storing information not on a hard drive or handheld storage device but on a series of servers sponsored and supported by business entities.  Essentially, any website stores information in the cloud and is then accessible to the user.  But now we have the option of storing and accessing our personal information in an easier fashion.  We have seen social sites like Flickr and delicious that let us store and control our info, and we have stored documents out there for quite a while–but now things are easier to access and edit through platforms being created and expanded. I am most familiar with Google’s platform (google docs, google sites,
etc.) and recommend it to anyone interested.

The Ada Community Library System has in the past few months create a staff access only site via Google sites.  We are populating it with information that was formerly kept in files that were inaccessible, or limitedly accessible, to branches.  I worked with our IT guy (Dylan Baker) and our management team to create a basic structure which would meet our needs. 

ACL Staff screen shotEach department or branch has an announcements page and an expandable structure for information access such as policies, meeting minutes, schedules, etc.  Each department/branch head is responsible for populating and updating information and has access in the site to do so.  Some documents are “view only” by all staff while others may be edited by specific staff, or everyone.  We are able to access all policies, HR information, schedules and reports from any location–any branch, home, a conference, or really, anywhere we can access the cloud.

Try it, you’ll like it!  And read the Pew Report on Cloud Computing.