Is the world becoming a more complicated place, or is my age beginning to show? There is so just so much to know about everything, and especially about technology. Learning to use that new smartphone or the new version of Windows 8 is not easy or intuitive. If you’re like me, you learn best through trial and error, with the emphasis on the error. Keeping-up with technology takes time, especially in the workplace, or at least, in our workplace. Libraries run on software. Software manages circulation and patron records. It allows users to search the catalog and online databases and download e-books and music from our website. It helps us acquire books and upload bibliographic records. It controls access to our public computer workstations and manages museum and program reservations. It allows us to stay in contact with our users and keep them informed.
Library staff must be skilled in using all of the library’s management software and skilled in using common applications for both PC and Apple devices. We must know word processing and database files, as well as Internet and email protocols in order to assist users at our public computer workstations. We must know the difference between browsers and operating systems and how to best access the library’s electronic resources. Our users look to us for answers and help with downloading and using the library’s electronic content. We field questions daily about ereaders and tablets, iPads, laptops and smartphones. It’s important that we are skilled and informed.
In order for us to strengthen our technology skills, we applied for, and were awarded, a grant from the Library Services and Technology Act. The grant offers staff the opportunity to spend time exploring databases, learning to use new software, and expanding our knowledge of computers and mobile devices. The more knowledgeable we are about technology, the more confident and skilled we will be in providing assistance to you, our users. There is just so much to know. The more we know, the more we can help. Please ask.