November 21, 2017

Manage the Device Deluge | Professional Development

Librarians have always taught patrons how to use the tools that serve their information needs. We had to explain card catalogs, vertical files, microfilm/fiche, photocopiers, and OPACs. The fundamental difference about the tech needs of the 21st century is the ever-changing variety of personal devices that patrons use to access our services. Some libraries are lucky enough to have dedicated staff with special training to serve these patrons directly, but most of the time it’s a library generalist fielding question after question about something new every day. How do frontline staffers with self-taught or very basic knowledge of technology stay savvy about the latest and hottest gadgets? How do we train nontechnical staff to troubleshoot effectively and train our patrons to use their own gadgets?

Louisville Libraries Help Train Local Talent For Tech Jobs

Kentucky’s Louisville Free Public Library (LFPL) is teaming with government agencies, nonprofits, and businesses in its community to teach people to develop websites and program software—and once those skills are honed, getting them placed in tech jobs around the region. With Code Louisville, local employers detail the programming knowledge that applicants will need to fill specific job openings, and sometimes provide mentors to assist in training programs. Using an LFPL card, trainees can access Treehouse online training programs at no cost.

The Reskilling Muddle: Wasted Time, Money, and Opportunity | Peer to Peer Review

I’ve had some strange experiences teaching workshops and continuing-education courses over the last couple of years. These challenges simply don’t happen in my regular library-school classrooms. Sometimes I can easily take them as a salient reminder to me to explain clearly the “why” behind the “what” in my teaching. More often, though, I find myself worried, both for these learners and for the state of the overall pool of professional skill.