Question #3: Adopting and Adapting New Technology

May 17, 2011 by

Candidates for the SLA Board of Directors will be asked to answer questions on the SLA Blog until election time. I’ve published my answer to Question #3 today. I’m copying it below.

Catherine Lavallée-Welch- Candidate, Division Cabinet Chair-Elect -

Question #3 What is the newest “techie” gadget that you have/would like to have, and how do/would you use it to improve the work relationship that you have with your primary clientele?

One gadget? That’s like asking to pick one book to take to a deserted isle. After all, who would expect a past IT Division Chair not to have a special fondness for technology gadgetry?

My latest personal purchase was a wireless keyboard/hardcover for my iPad 2. No more two-finger pecking for me. But that’s just for my convenience. For my library’s users, I dream of a whole array of gadgets. I guess I’d say my “gadget” would be a technology bar next to our computer lab.

Today’s students may use, or want to use, a multitude of e-readers, tablets, digital cameras, mobile input and display technology. We could build a flexible space for these students to interface with our services and each other. The Engineering Library at Stanford University and the Hill Library at North Carolina State University have already constructed similar areas.

Students are asked more and more to produce multimedia objects; and expectations from distance education demand more flexibility and portability. With a tech bar, students and faculty can try on new tools for size, experiment, test and, hopefully, use them for projects. How useful for them!

With such technology offerings, libraries and librarians gain relevancy and expertise for themselves and their users. They learn how library content and resources appear and act on various devices. They see the technology used in new modes of learning and teaching. Such services fit very well in the Learning Commons. It’s a win-win for all involved.

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