Category Archives: Technology Training Rocks!

TTW Mailbox: On the Gadget Garage

The Gadget Garage

Tamara writes, referencing a slide in our Technology Training PPT from ILI2006: Can you explain the concept of a “Gadget Garage”? I’m not sure what that is!

On a tour of Princeton Public Library when our Roadshow was on the East Coast this summer, Janie Hermann showed us a cabinet in their technology training room filled with gadgets and devices. “This is the gadget garage,” she said. I saw an ipod, digital camera, video camera, etc. In training sessions for staff and public, the training librarians would pull out the gadgets and let people play and experiment. This is a perfect example of this shifted method of training.

But Michael, you may be saying, what if our library can’t afford a bunch of gadgets. Try offering library users a “technology petting zoo” and ask them to bring their gadgets to play with. Or ask staff as well for training sessions. I also suggested to the group in Columbus for the Management and Administration conference to “beg, borrow or steal” to get some tech in the library. Donations? Grants? Cheapie eBay puchases?

Are other folks using this type of hands on exploration?

Think Technology Group Play

My earlier posts point out the observation that companies that have successfully adopted disruptive technologies did so only when they created a separate organization to deal with the technology. The idea of a group within the library being organized and responsible for investigating emerging and disruptive technology issues fits into the pattern of companies that successfully managed their innovation.

The goal of this organization should be to play around with technology and to participate in rapid prototyping, not to create anything practical or plan for implementation. The focus should be on learning and discovery, not action.

Think technology group play.

Great post from Eric Schnell. He really proposes some great ideas and outlines steps for an emerging technlogy play group! I would recommend this to libraries that feel they have fallen behind from being on the cutting edge or need to ramp up their innovation with technology. My favorite part? Send the Devil’s Advocate packing for play time:

Not only should devil’s advocacy not be a played during the group’s play time, they actually need to operate independently and outside a library’s standard processes and procedures!

Do You Squidoo?

Phil Bradley writes about using Squidoo to create teaching aids. It’s a “How to..” do anything social site with some cool features and a definite Web 2.0 feel.

Here’s his “lens” for web design:

Here’s the lens for an “Intro to Web 2.0:”

UPDATE: More lenses from Phil:

More Useful Links for the OPAL Talk

UPDATE: What a great time that was! Thanks to all at OPAL!!

Here’s the presentation.

Here are some extra links as resources:



Open Source Software at TechEssence

ALA on DRM & DRM Guide for Librarians

Librarians Who IM

Future of Music

Using Bloglines!

The Internet is Entering its LEGO era

Libraries with MySpace accounts

Tennant and Pace on the Future of Catalogues from Panlibus

Rainie on Millennials from SELCO

iPods in Action at Georgia College and State University

Using Evidence to Support our Libraries from Stephen Abram

OCLC Perceptions

Learning is Social

Great post at Librarians with Class that links to this article.

Reading this article is a bit hard for someone who has devoted a great deal of time and energy to the preparation of training materials and the delivery of training classes. I don’t think that I’m ready to just give up on training. I think there are ways, however, that we could incorporate more of the communities of practice elements into training sessions.

I have found some of the best moments of learning and “AHA!” is one the folks in workshops I lead discuss the topics amongst themselves and then bring thoughts back to the group. Same goes for my time spent in the classroom.