4:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Given the changing role of the librarian as provider of “tech support,” this session looks at increasing the skills of staff in digital literacy and information technology, addresses the attitudes and flexibility of tech-shy staff members to increase their comfort level with today’s rich and dynamic information landscape, and shares a partnership that provides additional support. Speakers share experiences from two public libraries providing training around ebook downloads, handheld devices, navigating web and mobile apps, and using social media to empower staff with the confidence patrons expect around technology at the information desk. They discuss assessing needs through surveys and interviews and designing training series according to results, new software and web applications, and system updates, as well as offering one-on- one sessions and tablet checkouts to staff for hands-on practice; providing “how-to” documentation; and taking the lead in collaborative social media projects such as readers’ advisory on Facebook and the creation of a department Goodreads account. They describe community partnership with Best Buy, including their provision of tablets and e-readers to update their “Tech Petting Zoo,” and co-trainings with Geek Squad experts. They discuss the importance of staff trainings in preparing librarians to ease patrons’ tech-induced frustration and speak from a knowledgeable and confident perspective.