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Thingamabobs and Doodads: Tech Support is Reference


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Presentation for Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library

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Thingamabobs and Doodads: Tech Support is Reference

  1. 1. Thingamabobs and Doodads: Why Tech Support IS Reference Mary Kelly & Holly Hibner
  2. 2. <ul><ul><li>“ Information contact which involves the knowledge, use, recommendations, interpretation, or instruction in the use of …information sources” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Print, non-print, databases, and catalogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In person, by phone, by fax, by mail, or by email from an adult, a young adult, or a child. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- from Public Library Statistics Cooperative for Public Library Data </li></ul></ul>
  3. 4. <ul><li>Librarians must be knowledgeable not only on information, but also its packaging and delivery. </li></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>I am a librarian, NOT a computer troubleshooter. </li></ul>
  5. 6. <ul><li>Relevancy </li></ul><ul><li>Library mission </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Staff development </li></ul><ul><li>When people choose the library, it says a lot about their expectations. </li></ul>
  6. 7. <ul><li>Refusing help makes the library look irrelevant and unhelpful. </li></ul><ul><li>Patrons just need help. </li></ul><ul><li>Not their responsibility to know what they can ask of whom. </li></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>“… support is about more than just having an answer. It’s having an answer that someone can use. If someone is frustrated and you frustrate them even more by giving short, cryptic, or peripheral answers, and by ignoring his/her emotional state, you’re not really being as supportive as you can” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>– D. Scott Brandt in How Not to Market Your Tech Support </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>… what kinds of questions you will answer </li></ul><ul><li>… what kinds of people you will wait on </li></ul>Support your library’s mission!
  9. 10. <ul><li>Do you have time to do traditional reference? </li></ul><ul><li>Triage </li></ul><ul><li>Tech Aides </li></ul><ul><li>One-on-one appointments </li></ul><ul><li>Public instruction classes </li></ul><ul><li>Prioritize training in off-desk time </li></ul><ul><li>Track questions to make a case for more help </li></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>Communicate with Tech Support/Boss </li></ul><ul><li>Ask them to shadow you </li></ul><ul><li>Giving staff access </li></ul><ul><li>Giving the public access </li></ul><ul><li>Create a troubleshooting blog </li></ul>
  11. 13. <ul><li>Similar to tax, medical, legal reference </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Afraid to give “advice” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Suggestions: </li></ul><ul><li>Buy some equipment for staff to play with </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t claim to be expert </li></ul><ul><li>Make suggestions to patrons </li></ul><ul><ul><li>THEY decide what suggestions to take </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Have a waiver (less practical) </li></ul><ul><li>Create troubleshooting blog </li></ul>
  12. 14. <ul><ul><li>They aren’t called to help with every little thing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They learn each department’s function </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff learns Tech Department’s point of view </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They contribute ideas beyond fixing broken stuff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Everyone contributes to the library’s mission </li></ul></ul>
  13. 16. <ul><li>Web Junction: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Competency Index for the Library Field </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>TechAtlas Staff Skills Survey </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  14. 17. <ul><li>Attitude </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning how to put it back on you when patron doesn’t get it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teach without being defensive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reference Interview </li></ul></ul>
  15. 18. <ul><li>PC basics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge of library’s public computer setup </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to fix small problems quickly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help tech support staff identify bigger issues </li></ul></ul>
  16. 19. <ul><li>Computer Security </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Phishing/Pharming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Viruses/Worms/Trojans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are they? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What to do when detected </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Safe practices </li></ul></ul>
  17. 20. <ul><li>Data management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Saving and retrieving information on any device that stores data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>File extensions </li></ul></ul>
  18. 21. <ul><li>Fundamentals of web pages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Web browsers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Printing - frames </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs and wikis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plug-ins </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Displaying languages in various scripts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not displaying images </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blaming the web page vs. blaming the library </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 22. <ul><li>Internet sources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collection of ready reference sources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online directories and databases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using search engines effectively </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When to use search engine vs. other internet source </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internet as a workaround to other problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tech Tools for Reference - </li></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 23. <ul><li>Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gaming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Streaming media </li></ul></ul>
  21. 24. <ul><li>ILS </li></ul><ul><li>Awareness of functions outside of department </li></ul><ul><li>Fine limit reached = Can’t place hold </li></ul><ul><li>Hold placed at reference: ready for pickup at circ? </li></ul><ul><li>Cataloged as reference = no check-out or holds </li></ul><ul><li>Cataloged as serial = find current item at reference </li></ul><ul><li>Are all parts accounted for at check-in/check-out? </li></ul><ul><li>Have all parts been requested? </li></ul>
  22. 25. <ul><li>Sussing level of competency in an interview: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scenario-driven questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give them a simple test </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on technology to establish culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask them to prepare a technology lesson </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explain core competencies </li></ul></ul>
  23. 26. <ul><li>Integrate departments for shared training </li></ul><ul><li>Create a culture of technology </li></ul><ul><li>Make technology unavoidable and relevant </li></ul><ul><li>Define tech competency for each position </li></ul>
  24. 27. <ul><li>“ My laptop won’t connect to the library’s wi-fi network” </li></ul>
  25. 28. <ul><li>(For the 5 th time today, 5 days in a row, from the same patron): </li></ul><ul><li>“ How do I send a file to someone by email?” </li></ul>
  26. 29. <ul><li>It’s 4:00pm on a weekday. The computers are filled up. The reference desk is hopping. A line is forming. The phone is ringing. A very sweet elderly patron says she doesn’t know anything about “that interweb” but she heard you could get coupons online. </li></ul>
  27. 30. <ul><li>“ I’ve got a stack of 300 old photos. How can I scan them </li></ul><ul><li>… and what do I do with them once they are scanned?” </li></ul>
  28. 31. <ul><li>“ I’d like to order this item from my granddaughter’s birthday. It’s only available at this online store. Can you help me place an order with my credit card?” </li></ul>
  29. 32. <ul><li>“ I’ve been laid off. I need to file for unemployement and upload a resume to the state job search site. I’ve never used a computer before.” </li></ul>
  30. 33. <ul><li>Prescious Snowflake got a Webkinz for his birthday. He has to go online to register it. It looks more complicated than filing for unemployment. </li></ul>
  31. 34. <ul><li>Make tutorials or podcasts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wink, Cam Studio, </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Assign Tech Buddies </li></ul>
  32. 35. <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> Videos </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  33. 36. <ul><li>TechSoup for Libraries </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Cookbooks” on subjects like: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Planning and Decision Making </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication and Partnerships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Buying and Deploying Technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintaining and Sustaining Technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Networking and Security </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Innovation </li></ul></ul>
  34. 37. <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Learn about: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology planning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Performing computer inventories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Surveys for determining technology needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Providing tech support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Buying technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emerging technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Security </li></ul></ul>
  35. 38. <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Implementing Tech in the Library </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information Sharing and Education </li></ul></ul>
  36. 39. <ul><li>Embrace technology </li></ul><ul><li>Train reference staff to support technology </li></ul><ul><li>Be open minded: librarianship is changing </li></ul><ul><li>Criteria for library relevancy has also changed </li></ul><ul><li>Tech support IS reference. </li></ul>
  37. 40. Mary Kelly [email_address] Holly Hibner [email_address]