The topic of this week was on cloud computing, a topic area that I have only briefly heard about before and did not know what it entailed or meant. From reading some of the articles this week I eventually gained a basic understanding of what it is. The article by Michael Stephens had an interesting quote that described what cloud computing could be visualized as: “the Internet has already become “one machine” and our devices are windows into it.” This is a good introduction to explain how cloud computing is the act of using a “window” or a device to access our information almost anywhere that is located on the internet or in a “cloud”. This is not like having access to a file on just a USB or a file on our desktop but having access to it on our phone, a specific website, a tablet, etc. The previous fact could be considered an advantage of using the cloud. Other advantages could be: it would be harder to lose information if it can be accessed from any internet connection; can use this to store any type of information whether it be for personal use, work, or other; and the future possibilities of this are very exciting of what other types of data or information that we could add to a cloud. However, with anything there are disadvantages; one of the biggest disadvantages would be how we would ensure that our information is kept private. How do we really know if anyone else or other companies don’t have access to our information and could use it for their benefit. Does this mean that we have to be careful just what we post in these mediums? Furthermore, another disadvantage could be if the internet crashes then we cannot access our information. A fix for this would maybe be developing a backup way to access our information to whatever device that we use to get the information.
The cloud can very easily be utilized in libraries as well. We could use social media communications such as Facebook and Twitter to communicate with patrons and for the patrons to communicate their information. It seems that library catalogues are becoming more accessible; before they were just available in the library itself but nowadays they are online and I can even access some via apps on my Iphone. Finally, patrons can use their mobile devices to access the library “cloud” and this would make it easier and more convenient for them to access information that they need.
That’s all for my thoughts for this weeks topic!
Stephens, Michael. (2008). How can libraries use the cloud? Accessed March 20th, 2013, from http://tametheweb.com/2008/08/04/how-can-libraries-use-the-cloud/.