"Computer Availability and Digital Resource Management"
Naval Academy students are considered federal employees while in school and so cannot work in the library. This means that the library cannot take advantage of their expertise. The library has a 28-member staff.
All midshipmen are issued laptops when they enter the Academy. Security is important to the Academy and the Library. There is a tension between the Library (part of academics) and the IT department (part of the administrative structure of the Academy). Wireless printing is available.
Question: Is desktop computer usage increasing or decreasing? There was a request for a web guide for computer resources and if a computer was in use. They investigated computer availability tools. There are in-house applications, open source applications, and commercial tools. They procured software through the IT department and learned that there would be some data security concerns. They limited the online maps to 85 public computers. They created online tools to show what computers were available. The Library did some customization of the tool.
They were able to gather information on computer usage. They found that computer usage is decreasing and that the need fewer desktop computers. They also gathered data on which desktop applications are must popular. They could also tell if people where using social media sites. They did not care, however, what specific things people were doing online.
This type of technology is used in academic libraries.
The program they are using is labstats.com.
"Library Tech Centers: Their Use in the Community"
Decided that it would be good to get his feet wet with more technology in the library and teaching people how to use it.
The Tech Center started with a grant. Earlier the library had had some funding challenges. The library is now funded by the community. In 2014, they created the Public Computer Center.
The Center has a smart board, 15 computers, 15 iPads, and other technology, including teleconferencing equipment, scanners and more. The room is also used as a meeting room.
- Open hours where patrons can use the equipment. They are helped by volunteers. People can also get help with their own devices, using social media or other applications. The volunteers range in their skills. They do not help with hardware issues.
- They use the Tech Center for classes. This is more formal than the open hours. Class sizes range from 2-15 people. Registration was handled through Google Calendar, but they are putting a new system in place. Classes have even been on things like EBay.
- The space is also used for specific teen programming. Theses are sessions geared for this age group.
- The space is used by the community. For example, a group can ask for private lessons, like the Boys and Girls Club.
The staff of the Tech Center includes school librarians and college students.
- Patrons are happy that people are interacting with them in regards to technology.
- People are using technology to give themselves a public voice.
The need: Needed to help to bridge a gap that patrons are experiencing. The a Tech Center is helping to fill this need. Roman noted that the Binghamton area is the home of IBM and IBM retirees want to stay current with technology.
- Have done on to run the Center - paid or volunteer. Make it known how that person can be engaged.
- Advertise the time when the Tech Center person is available.
- Have equipment available at all time for use with a patron.
- Create handouts for every lesson, that are given during training or are available for patrons to pick up at any time.
- Look for grants that will help you build a Tech Center and bridge the digital divide.
- Have patience!
Comment from the audience: Do not assume that people understand the vocabulary.
Question: How often is the Tech Center rearrange? It stays as is most of the time, but everything is on wheels, so the room can be rearranged for meetings or special events.
Posted edited on March 12 2016.
Posted edited on March 12 2016.