Raising the Tech Bar at Your Library
Improving Services to Meet User Needs
by Nick D. Taylor
May 2017, 117pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-4496-6
$50, £38, 42€, A72
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4497-3
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

From establishing tech centers to providing one-on-one assistance, coding classes, and after-school programs, this guide shows you how to make your library the go-to place for technology learning.

This book explains how librarians can capitalize on the growing interest and need of patrons for help with technology by expanding their library's tech services to build community engagement and support.

Keeping up with technology is more critical and difficult than ever. This challenge exists not only for library staff but for their patrons as well. Today’s librarians are often barraged with increasingly complex questions from their patrons about technology—from loading eBooks onto their readers to helping resurrect dead laptops. Why not capitalize on this opportunity and transform your library into a first-stop, go-to resource for your community’s tech needs?

Raising the Tech Bar at Your Library: Improving Services to Meet User Needs demonstrates a variety of ways to expand library services to better serve your community, including how to establish tech bars and tech centers, provide tech training and one-on-one tech help, host drop-in demos, and create a coding “dojo.” The book covers after-school programs, makerspaces, and embedded librarianship as well. The authors draw on their personal experience to offer a practical blueprint for launching your tech initiative, starting with the preliminary steps of evaluating community needs and getting administrative and public buy-in to obtaining funding, training non-tech staff, setting up and launching your program, and evaluating the services you’ve established. The book ends with a look to the future that supplies provocative and exciting ideas of how libraries with innovative, tech-focused leadership can push the edge even further. This book serves a wide audience—all public librarians as well as library administrators, those who work in IT departments as well as adult or youth services, and reference librarians who are interested in expanding into this important and exciting area.

Features

  • Offers librarians a new way to meet diverse users' needs and build community support
  • Provides librarians with a variety of ways—suited to different sizes and types of libraries—to expand their tech services
  • Presents practical guidelines that lead readers through a step-by-step process to reach their goals
  • Supplies guidance derived from the authors' personal experiences and those of their colleagues that illustrate the directives and clearly identify both what to do and mistakes to avoid
Nick D. Taylor is the supervisor of tech experience at Arapahoe Libraries. In his travels as a technology advocate for public libraries, he has taught computer classes, written code, demonstrated beta technology, and learned from as well as been inspired by supervising a technology specialist team.

Reviews

"From 3D printers to makerspaces, this volume can help a library improve their technology relevance to the communities it serves. This slim but helpful volume is clearly written with practical advice. The chapter about teaching patrons how to use technology is especially useful, as it covers a variety of methods for educating the public about library resources. . . . This is a solid resource for a library just starting to update its tech offerings, or a library starting from ground zero."—VOYA, October 1, 2017

"Simple and succinct but never simplistic, this title raises the bar for professional development monographs as it guides libraries toward sustainable futures. VERDICT Required reading for public library staff and administrators looking to build better technology support services."—Library Journal, January 1, 2018

"Raising the Tech Bar at Your Library is best suited for public library administrators and staff seeking to keep in step with the partnership between libraries and technology for improved community services and relevance. Recommended."—ARBA, March 13, 2018
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