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Cloud computing and virtual machines in LIS education: options and resources

Christinger Tomer (School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)

Digital Library Perspectives

ISSN: 2059-5816

Article publication date: 13 February 2017




The purpose of this paper is to consider how and why virtual machines (VMs) and cloud computing and related development environments built on cloud-based resources may be used to support and enhance the technological elements of library and information science (LIS) education.


It is based on analysis of available technologies and relevant applications.


Cloud computing and virtualization offer a basis for creating a robust computing infrastructure for LIS education.

Practical implications

In the context of LIS education, cloud computing is relevant in two respects. First, many important library and archival services already rely heavily on cloud-based infrastructures, and in the near future, cloud computing is likely to define a much larger part of the computing environment on which libraries and archives rely. Second, cloud computing affords a highly flexible and efficient environment that is ideal for learning about VMs, operating systems and a wide variety of applications. What is more important, it constitutes an environment for teaching and learning that is vastly superior to the ones that currently support most LIS degree programs. From a pedagogical perspective, the key aspect of teaching and learning in the cloud environment is the VM. So, the article focuses a significant portion of its attentions on questions related to the deployment and use of VMs and Linux Containers, within and without cloud-based infrastructures, as means of learning about computer systems, applications and networking and achieving an understanding of essential aspects of both cloud computing and VM environments.


Based on a search of available literature in computer science and library and information science, the paper has no counterparts.



Tomer, C. (2017), "Cloud computing and virtual machines in LIS education: options and resources", Digital Library Perspectives, Vol. 33 No. 1, pp. 14-39.



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