If your technology plan could use updating, or you haven't gotten around to developing a plan yet, you can do so with a cohort of colleagues, under the guidance of library tech guru Lori Ayre. InfoPeople is offering a 4-week online course, beginning Tuesday, Nov. 13. Included in the topics covered are:
Using a theme can make technology training more compelling and downright fun!!
In March 2007, the Tuolumne County library in Sonora, CA held a wildly successful "Techknow Rodeo" that introduced the community of 5,000 to the many electronic resources available through the library, and set the stage for future training sessions
"We wanted to make it a fun environment and take away any intimidation," said library director Connie Corcoran.
Bring classes, lectures, entertainment, and more to your remote, rural library with video conferencing.
Getting overwhelmed tracking your tech support issues? The free version of Ilient Sysaid might help. Technology and Training Specialist Jaketha Farmer of the Lamar County Public Library in Mississippi informed us about the downloadable application that she's been using to track her library staff's requests.
Let someone else take over your airwaves. That's what the Scottsdale Public Library in Arizona did when faced with the rising support costs of offering a homespun wi-fi network to their patrons.
Our friends at Webjunction have developed a terrific guide to both management and technical competencies for public computing. Included are skills necessary for tasks including patron assistance, system administration, and technology planning. Check it out, and see how you measure up! For a broader view of library competencies, participate in the July 25 webinar on Core Competencies for Library Staff.
I've heard from several library staff that having a tech mentor is a valuable resource for learning about computers. For example, take Barbara Keefe, Technology Services/Reference Librarian at the Windham Public Library. One of her patrons, a former IBM employee, taught Barbara (among a number of tech things) how to crack open a computer to upgrade RAM and to wear an ESD wrist strap when working with hardware.
If your library does not have tech support at your location, you might be able to arrange remote support from a county, regional or state library agency. TechSoup.org discusses the potential benefits, and outlines features of the available software.
Over at librarian.net there's an interesting discussion about how to make online games available without compromising computer security. The overall recommendation is to allow access to online games that are truly online but not to allow any downloading. Library staff describe their experience with games and software such as DeepFreeze, Centurion, and the Shared Computer Toolkit.