Office Hours: Adopt or Adapt

This “Office Hours” column explores how we can approach emerging and already here technology as an early adopter or and adapter.

Be open to tech innovations and change. You don’t have to accept every “next big thing” but at least be aware of it. Did you just hear about beacon technology? Follow up with a web search to see how libraries are using it. Seeing the practical use of an emerging tech might balance out the initial wow factor to put it in its proper place as part of a toolkit of options. Just hearing about QR codes? Feel free to move on.

Play, explore, and experiment. Keep a list of the emerging technologies that intrigue you—maybe those you read about or are introduced to at a conference. Seek out an opportunity to test drive the tech and think about how it might play a role in the lives of your patrons. Does Pokémon GO seem weird and off-putting? Give it a whirl. I did, exclaiming at the beast crouching on our refreshment table at a lakeside party. I explored a bit more and then deleted the app. The time I spent gave me a reasonable grasp of the game and the bigger trend behind it. I’m not an expert, but I perk up when someone tells me their library is a “gym.”