Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Staying on Top of Technology Trends

I also took part in the InfoPeople course, Staying on Top of Technology Trends. What I appreciated the most from this course was that the instructor provided examples of how to keep up with general technology changes and how to keep up with the changes specific to libraries as well. The course material was extremely helpful to begin a trendwatching experience, by providing a plethora of updated sites and blogs which all discuss changing technology.

Keeping up with trendwatching blogs was definitely the key described in this course. Though I had been familiar with sites such as trendwatching.com, I had always been intimidated by the pure amount of information on developing technology available online, and so had been ignoring most of the sites. The best way to help keep up and organize the information is to use an RSS reader. While this may seem like old hat to most tech-savvy gurus, I personally cannot express how much easier it is to peruse internet articles with an RSS reader. I had been reluctant to use one, but at the advice of the instructor, I created a Feedly account and there was no turning back for me. Even though I only follow a few blogs, it really makes it easier to sift through the new information and preview articles before reading them.

The other helpful information I found in this course was the lists of suggested websites and librarian blogs which specialize in library technology, or even general technology. At the end, a Resource File was provided which concisely lists these blogs for convenience. I included the link to the resource file because I believe everyone can benefit from following even a few of these sites.

One of the key trends mentioned in the course was the use of cloud technology in library systems. I am not very knowledgeable about what uses we have here in Western Maryland for cloud computing at the library (outside of ILS storage), but I think it is definitely a direction we should look into.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Staying on Top of Technology Trends

I just finished a class called Staying on Top of Technology Trends. It was offered by Infopeople and was a four week webinar. Because I am part of WMRL's Technology Interest Group, WMRL was kind enough to foot the bill for the course.
 I learned where to go to find out the latest and greatest in the technology, specifically for libraries.  If I choose trend watchers wisely, I won't have to weed through dozens of sites sending me information.
One thing that particularly interested me was the concept of Makerspaces.  They sound like a great idea.  We have trouble getting teenagers to come to the library, and if we had some makerspaces, I think we could attract more of them.  The only problems would be finding space and money!
I also thought the idea of '23 things' was interesting.  This is a program developed by the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.  The staff was given a list of 23 technologies they should be aware of such as RSS feeds and blogs.  I think this is a good idea.  I know our system would benefit from having all staff competent in basic technology skills.
I hope I can use some of the ideas I learned about in this course to help bring staff in Allegany County up to date on technology trends.