Last week our good friend, astute colleague and soon-to-be-mom Brenda Hough forwarded two articles that made me think about the role that libraries play in their communities during tough economic time.
Teaching, learning and research have always been social activities involving heavy reliance on trust, reputation and brand awareness., and these social aspects of information seeking behavior grow more prevalent every year. This natural tendency to seek reliable, community-validated information sources has traditionally drawn people to libraries for two reasons.
Sometimes the biggest barrier to learning new technology is us. Me. You. And that part, once realized, can be pretty liberating.
That's why I'm always emboldened when I remember all of the impressive librarians we've spotlighted who overcame their fears, or took a giant leap of faith to learn something new that helped their community.
I don't consider myself a techie, yet i'm curious about how technology helps folks--including me--accomplish tasks and goals. I like trying out new tools, so when Tena Hanson suggested I use Meebo to interact with attendees at the exhibit hall for the Iowa Small Libraries Online Conference, I jumped at the chance to learn something new.
Conferences are expensive to run and to attend, and those costs keep many of us at home, wishing we had the funds to travel away from our desks. But with new technologies cropping up daily, low-cost alternatives are surfacing that make learning from the experts a little easier on the pocketbook.
Just like any good tech geek, I've been reading reviews and jealously drooling all the photos and videos of upcoming products shown at this past week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The annual Las Vegas tradeshow reveals the hottest new technologies, coolest gadgets, and flashiest concepts for all the geeky gear I hold dear. Most of the products either haven't hit the market yet or are at pricepoints out of reach for most average folks — and especially out of reach for many nonprofits, libraries, and public service organizations.
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