Notes from the Black Lagoon


Posted on: March 6, 2008

For those of you who are fascinated by technology and technology in libraries, take a look at one librarian’s journey into the modern world over at The Game’s Afoot. Daisy, our intrepid Assistant Director, hated anything to do with technology because she feared it! Now she’s conquered her fear of computers and is now light years ahead of the rest of us. Daisy’s story sort of inspired me to take a minute and think about my tech-roots and how they’ve influenced me in the Children’s Room

So, for those of you who don’t know, I am a tech-savvy Millenial (formerly Generation Y) who grew up with computers and rapidly changing technology. We had a computer in our home when I was young, an old-school Commodore 64! I had computers in my elementary school. I don’t know how to use an electric typewriter and had never seen one until I came to the TPL. I most certainly do NOT know what filmstrips are or how to use them. My first stereo had a CD player and I’ve been using IM for over 10 years. I have a Facebook account and am in love with MS Word 2oo7.

Clearly, I’m down with technology. But I’m a different animal than Daisy. Daisy is a self-professed Geek. I would call her a tech-seeker, a lover of tech things for their own innate tech-i-ness. I’m more of a tech-consumer. I use technology because I need it or see it as advantageous for my life. I’m definitely open to learning new things, but I can only remember what I’ve learned if I need it for home or work! I don’t actively seek out new tech things just because. I need incentives..namely, “Can this make my life easier or harder?”. I think the process of determining that is an important one for people in my generation. Growing up and being bombarded by so much information and technology, you can start to think that anything tech is good just because it’s tech-y. Which is certainly not true! Good tech-consumers can pick and choose what actually does make their lives easier and more efficient while refusing to be bombarded by the constant flow of STUFF out there.

I think another key skill my generation has picked up from its exposure to technology is our ability to adapt to change. Technology is changing all the time and we can’t keep up with it. Millenials see technology as conceptual, as patterns that can be adapted across devices, programs and software. They can apply what they’ve learned before to a new technology that is presented to them. Very useful and time-saving skill, if you ask me.

I think the biggest influence my tech-savvy ways have had in the library is how we reach our patrons. We have used technology to catch our patrons’ attention on our website and in our programs. We’ve done podcasts of kids’ short stories and have an e-newsletter in Children’s. I also think I’ve affected the way the staff accomplishes our daily tasks. We, thankfully, no longer use the electric typewriter to make labels. Instead we use Word! Yay! So we keep evolving here at the TPL…maybe one day we can make it into the 21st century.


1 Response to "Tech-roots"

I love your take on how tech is only good if it makes our lives easier. I always feel like a tech-block-head whenever I go to these Web 2.0 workshops and get bombarded with all this tech that I am NOT using, but SHOULD be using for the good of myself and my library. I come home and sign up for a million diffent web tools and use….none of them. And then feel bad about not using tech to its fullest potential and being able to function quite well without it. But I will not feel bad anymore! I have plenty of other things to feel bad about and not using every single web tool ever invented is not something that should be on the list.

However, my one guilty pleasure is that I love the idea of Twitter, which is pretty much useless….but would have been GREAT when I was in college! Check it out and tell me you don’t agree lol

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