Keeping Current: My Favorite Resources

I originally posted this at New Technologies for Federal Libraries .

Keeping up with new technologies is much easier and also much more difficult than it was when I started my first professional librarian position back in 1985.  Back then I relied on work shops, conferences, journals and books.  I now use a combination of online resources, conferences, and print resources.  Here are a few of my favorites.

NextGov: Emerging Tech:

Next Gov: Emerging Tech ( ) is one of a group of blogs published by the National Journal Group.  Its purpose is to examine “How developing technologies could shape federal operations.”  I subscribe to it via email but it is also available via the web and RSS feed.  I read it every day and frequently refer to it in my own blog.  Each article contains good analysis and links to original sources. Recent stories include:


I still use email as a basic tool for keeping current on new and emergent technologies as well as for getting help or support.  One of the best and oldest of the email discussion lists is Web4Lib ( .  It currently has over 4,700 subscribers and averages less than 10 messages a day.  Its focus is “the discussion of issues relating to the creation, management, and support of library-based World-Wide Web servers, services, and applications.”  It is a great place to ask questions and offer up ideas.  It was starrted on May 12, 1994. I am proud to say that a message I sent to a discussion list in April 1994 served as the catalyst to start Web4Lib. It is still valuable two decades later.



GIZMODO ( is one of the sites I look at almost everyday.  It is one where I have a love/hate relationship.  It is “Everything is Technology.”  I usally get to it via Facebook or email updates through Feedspot Today . It has extremely interesting and often off-beat tech stories.  Here are some examples:

by Andrew Liszewski, 56 mins ago
The new Q fan looks more like a basketball than a fan, but using an internal turbofan it can actually blow about seven times more air than it sucks.Read more….
by Andrew Liszewski, 56 mins ago
The older someone gets the harder it is to find them the perfect birthday present. So why not just throw in the towel and go the gag gift route instead? This a..
by Shep McAllister, Commerce Team, 56 mins ago
Today only, Amazon’s offering great prices on Belkin surge protectors for any occasion. You can choose from a mini swivel charger that’s hugely popular among t..
by Aleksander Chan, 56 mins ago
John Oliver took Last Week Tonight to Russia this week to sit down with the best person to explain the spate of confusing government surveillance programs and ..
by Darren Orf, 1 hour ago
Apple Watch pre-orders, a whole new look for OnePlus, and the return of the LHC. This is all the news and rumors you missed this weekend, and it’s all on BitSt..

ZDNet Newsletters:

ZDNet offers several email newsletters ( that I find of great value.  I prefer getting things pushed to my email account.  My favorites are:

  • ZDNet Tech Today – Don’t miss a thing. ZDNet’s Tech Today newsletter is a daily briefing of the newest, most talked about stories of the day, five days a week.
  • ZDNet Innovation Weekly – ZDNet Innovation brings you the week in emerging technology, innovative ideas from around the world and digital business transformation.
  • ZDNet Must Read News Alerts – Major news is breaking. Are you ready? This newsletter only has the most important tech news — nothing else.
  • ZDNet Week in Review – Too busy for a daily newsletter? ZDNet’s Week in Review newsletter is a summary of what you missed in business technology this week.


Ars Technica (art of technology):

Ars Technica ( is another site I access via email via updates from Feedspot Today mentioned above.  It is “a publication with a simple editorial mission: be “technically savvy, up-to-date, and more fun.”  This is another one of my favorite sites.  Here are a few examples:

Print Journals

I read the following print journals on a more or less regular basis.

  • Computers in Libraries
  • Library Technology Reports
  • Online Searcher
  • Wired
  • Popular Science
  • Library Journal


There are many books I read in different series.  Of particular value are the the LITA Guides ( .  I am currently reading The Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know: A LITA Guide Edited by Kenneth J. Varnum.  Another great series is The Tech Set  ( edited by Ellyssa Kroski.  This was also published by LITA.   I have read all twenty of them.  They provide a great starting point for learning about technologies currently used in libraries.  You must understand what you have before you look at new technologies. Here are other titles of possible interest that I have found of value:

That’s it for now.  Feel to leave a comment or suggestion.