TTW Mailbox: On 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?