Monday, November 23, 2015

Hello, What Ideas Do You Have Today?

It was announced recently that the Division for Libraries & Technology has launched various Google Communities as a new way for Wisconsin library staff to ask questions, share ideas, and converse on various topics. Currently you can access the following Communities:
And now you can discuss everything there is to discuss about Technology in libraries. The WI Public Library Technology Community is a forum for those interested in technology - whether you are in charge of installing and maintaining the computers in your library or you are someone who is thinking about using Makey Makey in your upcoming program, this is the place for you.
hand holding coffee mug that reads "Librarian: the original search engine"
Photo by Ryan Claringbole
Technology is everywhere in libraries. It is much more than OPACs and networking infrastructure (though these are still crucial and should be discussed). It involves more and more staff who do not have a background in technology, but who have ideas, and often these ideas involve using some type of technology. Coding, tablets, PCs, makerspaces, digital privacy, digitization, networking, filtering, managed wireless systems, social media, 3D printers, e-books, databases, and so much more all fall under the Technology umbrella. 

While some people might talk to their work colleagues or to others that they normally communicate with, sharing these ideas with the broader Wisconsin library community tends to happen during conferences and regional workshops. Collecting these conversations to be more accessible and searchable, as well as facilitating more of a conversation rather than correspondence will hopefully spark more individuals discussing what they are doing and what they are thinking.

Everyone has questions. Everyone has ideas. It would be great if everyone shares both. Whether you want to ask your fellow librarians a question, share how you are implementing or experimenting with something new, or just lurking to see what others are doing, the Technology Community, as well as the other Communities, are your places to do all of this. Let's share articles and blog posts that discuss a new technology and ponder if and how it can be incorporated into public libraries. Let's share questions - whether it's comparing software or wondering how to secure tablets in a library. Let's share not only accomplishments but also experiments and the takeaways from them. Let's share as only we, the library community, can. 


Written by:
Ryan Claringbole, Public Library Development Team