10 Things A Library Can Do to Boost Their Techie Stuff

I was thinking about this post of Michael's the other day, as I was discussing all the technogeek stuff I learned at IL05, and decided it was time for a review of how my library has progressed on the technology front.

Note that Michael's article was written a year ago, and we had barely scratched the surface...

(bold are Michael's words/suggestions, regular are mine)

10 Things A Library Can Do to Boost their Techie Stuff*

(*without breaking the bank)

Blog! I began the APL blog in May of 2004, and it's still going strong. I know I will go a few days without updating at time, but I do the best I can to keep it interesting and updated. Unfortunately, at the present time, I am the only contributor, and I would like that to change eventually.

Send out your Web content via RSS. Our blog offers RSS, though the rest of our site does not. In the coming year, I'm going to explore an RSS-friendly front page of our website, as well as continuing to promote some of our newsletters, and trying to tailor those to our specific library.

Use IM to answer patron's questions. I was finally allowed to kick off IM reference in August, and so far, the staff and the patrons have reported nothing but positive to me. I hope this service continues to grow in the coming months and years!

Investigate WiFi. We began offering WiFi in April of 2004, and were the first library south of Indianapolis to do so! Woot!

Meet and greet with other tech folks and librarians in your city, county, region. We all regularly attend ILF, ALA, IL05 and more, thanks to our ever-supportive Board of Trustees. We Hoosier librarians seem to cover a lot of ground. ;-)

Educate the staff about all the cool new things this post is about. It's been an upward battle at times, but I'm working to educate all staff on some of the cool techie stuff out there. My biggest success has been getting my reference assistant on board with things like Bloglines, Firefox, IM reference and more. She's gonna be a technogeek soon too, if I have anything to say! ;-)

Conferences are expensive but try to send some folks. See the answer for "meet and greet", above.

Let your new librarians stretch their wings. I'm the NexGen-librarian on staff, but I would LOVE to see more of the staff hop on the technology train and bring ME cool things to check out!

Visit Web sites like Webjunction to take advantage of all the FREE stuff they offer. Admittedly, I haven't used this as much as I could, but there's always a first time!

Read your favorite tech magazines but also the mainstream entertainment/computer/lifestyle stuff. Does People magazine count? ;-) I try to browse the current mags, but I find the best librarian tech information comes from superknowledgeable folks like Michael, Sarah, Jenny, Aaron, Jessamyn and Steven. These people rock my world, and I thank you.

And that's the end of the list. Not too shabby for a lil public library in Southern Indiana, I would say. And with any luck, more advancements to come soon...

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