Placer County Library

Technology and Communication (Part II): Techie to Non-Techie

As promised last week, we've got more quotes and advice on the communications conundrum. This time, we've got some advice for library tech gurus who occasionally have to struggle to make themselves understood. Following are some ideas from librarians and library techies across the country. Look for these quotes, along with other tips and techniques in the next Cookbook!
Do you:

another form of librarianship

When I was traveling around Northern California on the Internet Archive bookmobile, I had the opportunity to sit down with Eric Brooks, the lone technical support person at the Placer County Library. One of the many conversations we shared was around how he felt technical support personnel should either be mandated to work at a computer lab while in school, or they should pick up hours working a customer service job, like retail.

talking tech

Seems like everyone we talk to has a story about communication between techies and staff. Here are a few of the latest...

Eric Brooks, from Placer County Library in Auburn, CA is the system-wide techie department of one:

"Some people think, ‘I don't know anything about computers,’ and they just kind of clam up when they want to talk about them. And you try to set them at ease."

Becky Heil, from Dubuque County Library in Farley, IA said:

Mini Cookbook

I’ve met so many superstars on this trip, and look forward to meeting more. At each library, I sometimes feel like a walking Cookbook: I share stories, I offer solutions I’ve heard from libraries, and I capture the triumphs and challenges each step of the way. Here’s a brief synopsis of just a few shining moments:

Flash drives make a positive impact

When asked what has made a big difference in the world of public computers at his library, Eric Brooks of Placer County Library spoke of flash drives. Eliminating another responsibility at the reference desk, the pervasiveness of these powerful gadgets has made public computing a bit easier on the staff and the patrons. No purchasing of disks, and thanks to the recent upgrade, no crawling around on the floor--just pop it in on the USB drive, and you're good!

“If it plugs in, I’m responsible.”

Today I spent an informative (and fun!) day at the Placer County Library in Auburn, CA. I met the entire staff, and spoke at length with the Director of Library Services, Mark Parker, and Eric Brooks, the sole tech person responsible for all 12 branches. (check out photos of our visit)

Last-minute technical issues in Auburn, CA

We've arrived in Auburn, CA, and have already checked out the library. As it is a holiday, the building was closed, but we did wander around a bit, and came upon this, which is easily the most interesting library signage I've seen. There's also an amphitheater nearby, which creates a pretty and pastoral scene. I'm excited to see the inside.