As a result of the fact that everything is so easy to do these days when it comes to computing, I think I often lose sight of what is actually behind all the social media and technology applications that I deal with on a day to day basis. Although I found myself getting lost in some of the tech language being thrown around in a lot of the course readings for this week, it was fascinating to learn more about the concept of cloud computing. Although it is still a little bit unclear in my head, the implications for people and libraries are both exciting and concerning.
Schnell discusses the nicety of taking the worry away from users in terms of their information being stored on devices like USB keys (2009). Thankfully, he also acknowledges the fact that it shifts that worry to the cloud (Schnell, 2009). For a recent presentation in one of my MLIS classes our group used a Google Doc type of setup to create a presentation. Even though the assumption was that we would just simply bring it up and use it on the day of the presentation (no USB key necessary), the thought was still in the back of my mind that the site we were storing the presentation on might go down at just the moment we had to present.
Bansode and Pujar discuss the major advantages and disadvantages when it comes to cloud computing and libraries (2012, p. 510-511). One that really struck me as being supremely advantageous was the possibility of the lack of need software updates (Bansode & Pujar, 2012, p. 510). I’ve experienced this as a student using the computers at school. It seems that every single time I log on to a computer on campus I have to install Adobe Acrobat just to access journal article PDFs. I can’t imagine the frustration this would cause in a library scenario with all of the computers needing updating. If cloud computing can take that worry away, as Bansode and Pujar allude to (2012, p.510), then it seems like a very positive development in the tech world.
In terms of disadvantages, the one that stuck out for me was the privacy factor (Bansode and Pujar, 2012, p. 510). I’m paranoid having my own information hanging out on the cloud, let alone being responsible for allowing patron data to be on the cloud, and then having minimal control over that cloud (Bansode and Pujar, 2012, p. 510-511).
With all of these recent journal articles being written on the subject, it seems obvious that things are moving in the direction of integrating cloud computing into libraries. Owing to my lack of background in the subject, I feel unable to give my own predictions, but it will be interesting to see what develops nonetheless.
Schnell, E. (2009, February 17). TechTips: Cloud Computing. Retrieved from http://library.osu.edu/blogs/techtips/2009/02/17/techtips-cloud-computing/
Bansode, S.Y. & Pujar, S.M. (2012). Cloud Computing and Libraries. DESIDOC Journal of Library and Information Technology, 32(6), 506-512. Retrieved from http://publications.drdo.gov.in/ojs/index.php/djlit/article/view/2848/1392