Tag Archive for 'sustainability'

Creating, Sustaining and Getting It Done

By Kieran Hixon

I have been thinking a lot about innovation lately.  Some of it stems from going around to different libraries and seeing how everyone solves problems… there are some fantastically creative problem solvers in library-land.  One library I was in had used a diaper to stop the leak in the roof.  Creative?  Yes.  Long term solution?  No.  [They lost the election too… the one that would have really fixed their roof problem.] We are so good at coming up with ways to solve problems – maybe too good.

Let’s talk about long term strategies for success with technology that builds on our creative, service based, no-holds barred, fierce determination for literacy .  Shoot, I know some librarians around here that are so determined  to promote early literacy that they leave boxes of books in places underserved populations will find them – no check outs, no names, just books.  It gets a little more complicated with digital literacy. Continue reading ‘Creating, Sustaining and Getting It Done’

Helping Hands for Public Computer Centers

By Crystal Schimpf

Need more people to teach computer classes? Looking for tutors to help people individually? Wish you had someone to help install and test new software on your computers?

Volunteers may be the answer you’ve been searching for. Public Computer Centers are finding many ways to utilize volunteers to allow them to offer more training for the public and to manage the technology. Continue reading ‘Helping Hands for Public Computer Centers’

Fluffy saw it all

By Kieran Hixon

I had an interesting ‘conversation’ the other day that wound through different folks and different places but it was all connected.

Of course it was about libraries…. I am just a geek that way.

It started with an out of state friend of mine saying she had gone to the library to scan a form and email it off.

The public library nearest her didn’t have a scanner, so she went to a smaller town a wee bit farther from her and used theirs.  She was asking me why all libraries didn’t all have the same stuff. Continue reading ‘Fluffy saw it all’

Free to Use the Internet

By Crystal Schimpf

As I spent the weekend celebrating the 4th of July with friends and fireworks, I also spent some time thinking about the many freedoms we have in the United States. I was thinking about how easy it is to take these freedoms for granted, how accustomed we are to being able to speak, write, or read whatever we want without fear of being silenced by the government. Continue reading ‘Free to Use the Internet’

Libraries and Public Computer Centers: What business are we in?

By Crystal Schimpf

Libraries have been going through some pretty major changes over the last decade, as technology becomes more integrated into our daily lives. Public computing has become a library service in high demand, and portable tech devices are changing the way library users access information. The Internet is fast becoming the main form of communication for work and home life, and cloud computing is changing the way we store and access personal information. (But don’t take my word for it. Check out these reports from the Knight Commission, the U.S. Impact Study, and the U.S. Department of Commerce to get the facts.) Continue reading ‘Libraries and Public Computer Centers: What business are we in?’

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…..

By Kieran Hixon

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, I had a Good Idea.  Like many Good Ideas I’d had in the past, this one was very exciting.  I brought my co-workers in on it. I spent non-work hours considering and pondering it.  I made Effort, lots and lots of effort.  We rolled it out.   The Good Idea came to fruition.   We created much hoopla.  It was still exciting and relevant for the next month or two.  The next thing that happened to the Good-Idea-That-Came-to-Fruition was the Great Nothing.   The Good-Idea-That-Came-to-Fruition became an object to be dusted.  Gah!  The Good Idea had been a fad.  The Good Idea did not have the capacity to endure. Continue reading ‘A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…..’

Resources for Tech Training Webinar ~ Archived

By Kieran Hixon
A recording of this webinar is available here: Resources for Tech Training

Are you searching for ways to help your community with digital literacy? Do you offer technology training? Are you looking for lesson plans and other resources? Come to this webinar to learn about resources that support your technology training efforts.

The Colorado State Library has launched a new website, Tech Training for Libraries. This website has compiled resources to help your public technology training efforts:

  • Instructional materials
  • Staff training plans
  • eGovernment assistance
  • Links to training websites

About the presenters: Kieran Hixon, Crystal Schimpf, and Nancy Trimm are Public Computer Center Trainers at the Colorado State Library. They work to support Colorado libraries so they can provide technology training and improve digital literacy in their communities.

Special guest: Tracy Treece, Senior Librarian at the Denver Public Library Community Technology Center, will share how technology training resources help improve programming and save time.

Tips for Digital Inclusion

By Crystal Schimpf

There has been a lot of talk lately in the library world about digital inclusion, but what exactly is it? And what does it have to do with libraries? You might be thinking this is just one more project, one more thing to worry about. Well, the good news is you are already“doing” digital inclusion! Keep reading to learn more about digital inclusion, and to learn a few ways to increase the impact you already have on your community.

Digital inclusion means that everyone in your community has access to information technology, and they know how to use it. Libraries and Colorado Public Computer Centers are already working towards this goal by providing free access to computers, Internet, and other technologies, and by providing free technology training classes. But what can you do to improve your efforts, collaborate with other stakeholders, and continue to help your community to become more digitally inclusive? Continue reading ‘Tips for Digital Inclusion’

Taking Smart Risks – Ideas from the R-Squared Conference

By Crystal Schimpf

Last month I attended the R-Squared conference. I was fully immersed in making the conference happen as a member of the planning committee. When the conference ended, I emerged with renewed energy for my work and new ideas for libraries. I have been giving a lot of thought to what resonated with me most, and I keep coming back to the idea of RISK.

Risk was a foundational concept for the conference: R-Squared stands for “Risk & Reward” (we have to take smart risks in order to move libraries forward). People took risks in pre-conference activities (like downhill mountain biking). People met challenges at the opening reception (like telling their biggest fear). People were asked to share a risk they took during the day (one person said going to a conference party alone). People questioned what qualified a risk as being risky (should libraries be bungee jumping?). And people defended themselves (and their libraries) as being risk takers.

Taking risks can present many challenges, though, and they are not always easy to face. It takes creativity to brainstorm risky ideas, and guts to put those ideas into action. Fear of failure, lack of resources, and opposition to new ideas can become impassible roadblocks to progress. We need the right tools to approach risk and allow for change to happen. Continue reading ‘Taking Smart Risks – Ideas from the R-Squared Conference’

Making a short story long – or 3d printers and libraries

By Kieran Hixon

I have been stuck in my head lately. Usually I am not a real deep thinker; I know that sounds odd to admit, but the big “Why?” has never much haunted me. My TV works, how exactly, well, I don’t really know. The meaning of life? Heh, get up in the morning and, to quote Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming.” But lately I have found myself pondering, “What is library?” Not, “what is a library” though I have pondered that too… but what is the role, goal and end all purpose of a library? I know, this might be too big a topic for one blog – especially one blog that is supposed to be about 3D printers. But see, in a way, it is the 3D printer that has pushed along my thinking in this ponderous what-is-library-I-need-a-beer sort of way.

3d printers…where to start…Okay, see, I love technology, I also like working with my hands… creating things. Let’s face it; a previous job has been auto mechanic, I took blacksmithing classes, I built my own house – these things say tool user. I had internet before I had running water in my home. I am a geek. My excitement about 3D printers, and really the whole idea of libraries being places where folks can go to print off a plastic doodad that fixes their dishwasher comes from this place inside me, this hands-on making place. Continue reading ‘Making a short story long – or 3d printers and libraries’