Does this sound familiar…
You open the library and turn on the lights. Overnight, half of your public access computers tried to update (unsuccessfully) and the other half are running super slowly. You check the voicemails and find that a handful of patrons have called to say that your website is down. A middle school teacher wants to send 25 kids over to do research on a history paper using original source materials—this afternoon. A staff member approaches you for a request to spend $300 on some sort of STEM equipment for the teen group. The printer jams, and while fixing it you manage to disconnect it from the network and get ink on your shirt. And who in the world changed the password on the children’s computer? Of course, all this happens on the day when your one part-time circ clerk calls in sick…
We’ve all had days that feel like this. In a similar situation, I would just want someone to magically fix it all while I locked myself in the back room. Technology can often be the tipping point that pushes us from, “It’s bad, but I can deal with it” to “You have GOT to be kidding me! I can’t do this!” While one of the beautiful things about working in a small or rural library is that you have a lot of autonomy, it can be hard when you are the bottom line for everything at the library, including technology. Directors of small and rural libraries may find that technology is one of the more complex responsibilities of their job—sometimes one person can’t get it all done.
But wait: did you know that technology help exists at the Colorado State Library? As the State Library Tech Consultant, my job is to connect you with the resources to help you find and operate the technology to help your patrons.
So, can you call me to get the password for your children’s computer? Unfortunately, no. Will I come over and get your printer back on the network? Again, no. However, the type of support I can give you is extremely helpful in preventing the Really Bad Day like the one described above. I can help you establish best practices to keep your technology running smoothly, and I can work with you to make a disaster plan in case something catastrophic happens. I can also:
- help you understand technology standards,
- provide tech training for you and your staff – even holding a tech boot camp at a staff day,
- create a website for your library,
- demo tech tools, like password managers, and online resources including source materials, STEM equipment, and lesson plans.
I even have a list of stain removers for your shirt. 😊
Contact ~ Kieran Hixon, firstname.lastname@example.org