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Emerging technology, libraries, and users

September 25, 2008

This morning I subscribed to and started reading Kathryn Greenhill’s blog, Librarians Matter.  I am one degree of separation away from Kathryn because she and Constance Weibrands designed a survey on SurveyMonkey which asked people what they thought of ACPL’s Library Camp unconference.  (I think it’s neat that I am loosely associated with a person I’ve never actually met.)

Kathryn shared a presentation on her blog about emerging techologies and how to address the problem of, “I don’t have time for this”.  There were two parts that I found particularly interesting.  These are my two comments:

I love that you said “Do not try to apply it to work…yet”. I tried out a lot of 2.0ish stuff just for fun at first, and when the natural progression came to me, where I discovered how I could apply these tools to work, it was a very exciting aha! moment. Librarians need to just give it time, and they will see the light.

I also like how you suggest working directly with your users if your coworkers won’t play. What a novel idea! We don’t want to force the technology on staff, but why should that keep those of us who are interested in the technology from providing those services. What a great concept.

This morning I’m planning to get Radio Shack to come to our libraries to give educational sessions about the DTV transition.  This is something I’ve been thinking about for months, but when I heard Radio Shack had partnered with ALA to do this (another cool thing I learned about at Library Camp) I got pretty excited because we won’t have to do the program ourselves.

Yesterday I read Stephen Francouer’s post about mini-workshops that he offered at his library (during his time on the reference desk!) It’s not possible for me to do something like that since I’m not working a reference desk anymore, but I certainly could do that kind of thing virtually.  I am also interested in doing webinars or otherwise distance-training.  I have the ability to remote control another staff member’s computer, so I can see myself making a presentation or a training session for staff (or patrons) from my office, using a speakerphone for audio.

If we do get a virtual branch up someday, we can incorporate all these elements into it.

I’m starting to visualize a library where people come in and learn about new technology on the web, gadgets, and new ways of using their library.  If the staff of a branch or the main library don’t have time for this, I would be interested in doing it.  Like Geek Out, Don’t Freak Out! for patrons.  These kinds of programs would take place independent of our Laptop Lab.  (FYI our Tech Trainer, Vince, starts TODAY and the equipment was just ordered.  Stay tuned for more information!)

I can tell you this: once I start visualizing, things start happening!  Look for more developments soon!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 25, 2008 11:03 am

    Thanks for the mention of my post. I should clarify that those of us who did the mini-workshops were not working at the reference desk at the time (there were others staffing the desk while we did our thing on the side).

  2. Melissa permalink*
    September 25, 2008 11:16 am

    Oh! It’s a cool idea anyway. 🙂 I love point-of-need service.

  3. vincentxshaw permalink
    October 16, 2008 2:13 pm

    Working together to help out our customers and even enjoy it? I like that.

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