Policy Before Technology

Don’t Outkick the Coverage





Technology Policy, Library Policy, Technology Adoption, Change


In the race to adopt the newest and best, practical considerations for emerging technologies are frequently overlooked. Technology can set an organization apart and, in the case of libraries, be instrumental in helping demonstrate value. Yet, all new technologies carry additional, potentially unpleasant consequences, whether it be threats to privacy and security, barriers to accessibility or risks to health, learning barriers, or exposure to misinformation. Organizations must consider these threats before introducing new technologies, rather than the other way around. To illustrate these threats and their policy implications, I will briefly discuss two popular technologies/innovations—virtual reality and data analytics—and the threats that are often overlooked by organizations and how they may be appropriately addressed by policy.

Author Biography

Brady Lund, Emporia State University

Brady Lund is a doctoral student at Emporia State University's School of Library and Information Management, where he studies the intersection of information technology and information science, among other topics.


Amy Restorick Roberts et al., “Older Adults’ Experiences with Audiovisual Virtual Reality: Perceived Usefulness and Other Factors Influencing Technology Acceptance," Clinical Gerontologist 42, no. 1 (2019): 27–33, https://doi.org/10.1080/07317115.2018.1442380.

James S. Spiegel, “The Ethics of Virtual Reality Technology: Social Hazards and Public Policy Recommendations,” Science and Engineering Ethics 24, no. 5 (2018): 1537–50, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11948-017-9979-y.

Lili Luo, “Experiencing Evidence-based Library and Information Practice: Academic Librarians’ Perspective,” College and Research Libraries 79, no. 4 (2018): 554–67, https://doi.org/10.5860/crl.79.4.554.

Matt Cook et al., “Challenges and Strategies for Educational Virtual Reality,” Information Technology and Libraries 38, no. 4 (2019): 25–48, https://doi.org/10.6017/ital.v38i4.11075; Kenneth J. Varnum, Beyond Reality: Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed Reality in the Library, (Chicago, IL, American Library Association, 2019).

Yong Jin Park, "Personal Data Concern, Behavioral Puzzle and Uncertainty in the Age of Digital Surveillance," Telematics and Informatics 66 (2022): article 101748, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tele.2021.101748.




How to Cite

Lund, B. (2022). Policy Before Technology: Don’t Outkick the Coverage. Information Technology and Libraries, 41(1). https://doi.org/10.6017/ital.v41i1.14773