Today I spoke with librarians from the four branches of the Plumas County Library. Margaret Miles, the director of the library, invited me to speak at their all-staff meeting, and we shared a provocative conversation covering many topics, from lockdown software, to tracking public computer use, to low-fi PC reservation processes, to patron training.
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!
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.
Bring classes, lectures, entertainment, and more to your remote, rural library with video conferencing.
Searching for a way to get the attention of your younger patrons? Think that gaming has no place in a library? Think again. Several libraries in Minnesota are providing teens with entertaining, and sometimes educational, games to keep them coming back.
What happens when funds are scarce and librarians start leaning more into the techie category?
They get curious. And fearless. And they start using their information literacy skills to experiment with open source technologies to "squeeze every penny out of the machines we have," as Kevin Smith, from Cass District Library told us recently.