Keeping Up with Emerging Technologies
Best Practices for Information Professionals
by Nicole Hennig
June 2017, 177pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-5440-8
$50, £38, 44€, A68
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5441-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

This single source brings together best practices, tried-and-true methods, and skills that information professionals and educators need to keep up with new technologies.

The acceleration of technological change demands that today's information professionals and educators not only be constantly acquiring new knowledge and skills, but also that they cultivate the ability to make sound judgments on which technologies to embrace.

Today’s librarians and information specialists know it’s imperative that they keep up with new technologies. But not all technologies are equally important, either within the library setting or to library patrons. So how does one decide which ones to pursue and integrate into services? In the uphill battle to stay current with new and emerging technologies, deciding which ones to pursue and integrate into services is a major challenge. A secondary problem is simply finding the time to consider the question. Readers of Keeping Up with Emerging Technologies will learn all of the best practices and skills to keep up with new technologies and to analyze the ability of specific technologies to meet recognized user needs—all in this single source.

You’ll learn the best ways to gather information about new technologies and user needs, to evaluate and analyze information, to curate technology information for others, to set up experiments and evaluate the results, and to present your findings to persuade decision-makers. Written by the former head of user experience at MIT’s library system, this guidebook serves information professionals, educators, education technology specialists, and anyone with “emerging technology” or “innovation” in their job titles. It will also be useful for library administrators and those who manage these positions as well as for students seeking a technology-oriented or curriculum-design career path in libraries.


  • Helps information specialists create a strategy for keeping up with new technologies and for making informed judgments on which technologies to test and integrate into library services
  • Provides ideas for designing curriculum for an education technology specialist career track in library school
  • Gives those who are preparing to interview for a technology specialist position a reliable guide for professional growth
  • Identifies which types of resources are most helpful for keeping up with new technologies
Nicole Hennig is an independent user experience professional who helps librarians and educators effectively use mobile technologies through her online courses, books, and webinars. She worked for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Libraries for 14 years as web manager and head of user experience. She is the winner of several awards, including the MIT Libraries Infinite Mile Award for Innovation and Creativity and the MIT Excellence Award for Innovative Solutions. Hennig is the author of several books and technical reports, including Apps for Librarians: Using the Best Mobile Technology to Educate, Create, and Engage; Mobile Learning Trends: Accessibility, Ecosystems, Content Creation; and Podcasting Literacy: Recommending the Best Educational, Diverse, and Accessible Podcasts for Library Users (forthcoming). She tweets about libraries and mobile technologies via her Twitter username @nic221. Her online newsletter, Mobile Apps News, is


"The time management strategies for processing and organizing information and continuing to keep up as technology changes are especially useful. . . . Keeping Up with Emerging Technologies is a valuable resource that can be read cover to cover or used for its extensive resources."—VOYA, October 1, 2017

"Hennig simplifies for the harried librarian the process of finding information on emerging technology, touching on sources in several formats, along with sharing methods and processes for staying abreast in the field. The purpose of the book is to share techniques, but it also serves as a robust purveyor of information sources. . . . Overall, a handy guide to keeping up with emerging technologies for those of us with little time to devote to the endeavor."—Booklist Online, January 5, 2018

"Readers who find it challenging to stay abreast of emerging technologies will appreciate this resource that acknowledges the difficulties of doing so. . . . Hennig refers to herself as a visionary rather than an implementer, and the many ideas and materials presented here reflect her wide-ranging purview. VERDICT Essential reading for all information professionals."—Library Journal, Starred Review, February 1, 2018

"The book serves as an invaluable guide not only to resources and methods for staying current and performing the duties, but also as a tool to place the role of Emerging Technologies Librarian into the broader context of librarianship."—College & Research Libraries, May 7, 2018

"There is something for everyone in this rather slim volume of less than 200 pages. . . . [I]t is a solid starting point with referrals to many other resources to help launch a new technology project or service."—The Library Quarterly, October 2, 2018

"Nicole Hennig’s Keeping Up With Emerging Technologies distills the author’s own practices—honed on the job at MIT and in her personal life— into an incredibly useful, compact, and well thought-out aid for any librarian or information specialist. Rather than providing a list of resources (although these are present), Hennig has laid out strategies and suggested tools for mastering the glut of information on new and near-future technologies. She covers the advantages and disadvantages of news resource types and how to manage overload by skimming, evaluating, organizing, and pruning. Since the focus is on library services, Hennig includes sections directed to the workplace: user needs, ethics, inclusion, design thinking, taking risks, sandboxes and prototyping, knowing when to fold, implementation, and persuading stakeholders to support success. Eminently practical, but by no means boring, Hennig reminds the reader to look beyond recommended library and technology news sources to popular culture and science fiction, especially where creative thinking about the near future is concerned. Highly recommended for anyone in the field, from library staff to managers, and also for students entering the profession."—Candy Schwartz, Professor, Simmons School of Library and Information Science

"People often ask me how I keep up. While I may have a few tricks up my sleeve, Nicole Hennig offers a rich field guide, not just for keeping up, but for leading, (My copy is utterly dog-eared.) Whether you are an emerging technologies librarian, an LIS student or faculty member, or an information professional attempting to spot trends and stay on top of practice, Nicole presents a manageable framework. Her compact guidebook looks well beyond the library lens to offer essential tools for managing information flow, incorporating design thinking; considering user needs; implementing change; addressing issues relating to ethics and inclusion; evaluating projects and defining new job roles. Keeping Up with Emerging Technologies also inspires the dispositions necessary for navigating shift with a sense of playfulness and agility. Wherever you sit on Nicole’s visionary/implementer spectrum, you will appreciate her practical suggestions, bounty of resources and the strategies for advancing user-centered innovation."—Joyce Kasman Valenza, PhD, Assistant Professor, Rutgers School of Communication & Information
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