Keeping Staff Up To Date with Technology


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Amanda Wilk from Haliburton County Public Library shares how her library is keeping staff up to date with technology knowledge. Presented at Keeping Up With Library Technology (KULT) November 1, 2013 at Hamilton Public Library.

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Keeping Staff Up To Date with Technology

  1. 1. KEEPING STAFF UP TO DATE WITH TECHNOLOGY Amanda Wilk Public Services Librarian Haliburton County Public Library
  2. 2. HALIBURTON COUNTY  Home to ~18,000 year-round residents, but during the summer months our population grows to more than 45,000  4,025 square kilometers in size (slightly smaller than the province of Prince Edward Island)  27% of our year round residents are over the age of 64, and 57% of the population is over the age of 50
  3. 3. Our remoteness means that people want to take advantage of tools like social media and Skype to feel connected Inclement weather affects the use of our physical collection, and makes digital services all the more important However, as more than half of our population is over the age of 50, most library users were not „born digital‟ and might be unfamiliar with or uncomfortable using technology
  4. 4. WHY DO WE KEEP UP TO DATE WITH TECHNOLOGY? 1. To provide patrons with increased access to our services 2. 3. 4. 5. and provide the best service possible; Learning and using technology can be a fun and rewarding way to connect with our users; Technology has the potential to make our lives easier through information, automation, and collaboration; The use of technology can be easily measured and provide us with user statistics (eg. Web hits, posts, circulation, etc.); Technology can also help connect our eight branches, and create a greater sense that we are one library.
  5. 5. STAFF AND TECHNOLOGY Most staff see the value in keeping up with technology, and some might even enjoy doing it But unfortunately, the predominate emotions related to working with new technology from our staff are fear and/or the feeling of being overwhelmed Staff want to know why we are using the tools we are, how they relate to the library‟s mission, and how they will help them do their jobs
  6. 6. 5 THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN WORKING WITH STAFF ON TECH SKILLS 1. Everyone is different, and may best learn in 2. 3. 4. 5. different ways; No one wants to feel incompetent; People fear the unknown; Change is hard and information overload can be paralyzing; Generally speaking people enjoy taking pride in their work and feel a sense of accomplishment when they succeed.
  7. 7. START SMALL  Working in small groups or on a one on one basis is crucial  Ensure that core skills and problem solving are known or taught first  What is a search box?  What is a web address? What is a hyperlink?  How do I get back to home? (What does home mean?) How do I go back?  Can I conduct an advanced search? How?  Where can I look for help?  Use resources like GC Free Online Learning Computer Training, (  Empowerment is key!
  9. 9. You can‟t know where you are going, unless you know where you are!
  10. 10. TECHNOLOGIES AT THE HCPL  Website with an integrated OPAC  Novelist Select imbedded catalogue feature  Novelist NextReads Newsletters  Databases  Overdrive  Adobe Digital Editions  Workflows  Kobo e-readers  Goodreads  Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest  Wordpress blog When working with staff, make sure that you can justify the use of these technologies, and explain how they will help staff do their jobs!
  11. 11. ASSESSING TECHNOLOGICAL COMPETENCIES To discover the tools staff members feel comfortable using on a individual basis, we used a survey that was distributed at our annual Staff Training Day The survey was handed out in person so:  Staff knew that they were not being judged & that this was not a test  I could better explain why knowing about certain technologies is important, and how it will benefit them
  12. 12. Let‟s take a look at the survey!
  13. 13. RESULTS I Feel Comfortable Searching the Library's Website Disagree Completely 0% Slightly Disagree 25% Completely Agree 69% Slightly Agree 6%
  14. 14. I Feel Comfortable Searching Overdrive Completely Agree 13% Disagree Completely 31% Slightly Agree 25% Slightly Disagree 31% Quantitative data can be great for looking at the big picture. But when working with staff, it is important to treat them as individuals with unique strengths and weaknesses.
  15. 15. SURVEY FEEDBACK  “A lot of the information that we talked about today, I was not really familiar with. I found it very interesting.”  “Can the passwords for our databases be on the opening page of each database?”  “I would like to learn more about these readers’ advisory sites.”  “I was not aware that the Library has so many sites online [social media]. I would like to try to get caught up.”  “Will explore databases further.” Focus on the positive!
  16. 16. WHERE WE ARE We have an understanding of our Library‟s background We have a comprehensive inventory of the tools we are using We are beginning to put together a big picture of our staff‟s technological competencies, and also have a record of individual strengths and weaknesses
  17. 17. WHAT‟S NEXT? Set goals for the future! 6 months, 1 year, 5 years… Visit branch staff on a one on one basis, and work with them on the areas they identified Focus on empowerment and make training fun Continual learning is important!  Peer to peer training  Online tools like GC Free Online Learning Computer Training, (  Digital scavenger hunts
  18. 18. DIGITAL SCAVENGER HUNT  List two titles highlighted in our Teen Scene newsletter from October  List two titles highlighted as read-alikes (You Might Also Like These) for The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern that we have in our collection  What immunizations are required and recommended to travel to Honduras? Bonus point if you can find the information using a library database, and list which database you used  Name three of our Library‟s Pinterest boards  What is our Library‟s Online Book Club theme this month?  How many print materials by James Patterson that were published in 2013 does the library own?
  19. 19. QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? Contact: Amanda Wilk Public Services Librarian Haliburton County Public Library