Quietly ignoring the changing landscape of library services is getting trickier. Though it still happens, often at the expense of the eager digital minds with which we work. Transliteracy (literacy across multiple media) is a big part of what kids need to make it in the 21st Century and many of us are not part of the mechanism that’s equipping them with those skills.
I’ve been in my position as a Youth Services Coordinator for a large library system now 5 years and when I started, blogs, wikis, RSS-that whole Library 2.0 thing was just getting underway and I know there are libraries who continue to resist taking advantage of tools that not only make our jobs easier like Delicious, RSS, wikis and Google Docs but tools that kids/tweens/teens greatly benefit from as part of their education and in their personal lives. As information specialists, it’s our duty to get with it and here are some easy, mostly-free or cheap ways to jump in and get more comfortable while also engaging in little professional development:
- College of DuPage offers some great teleconferences that address this changing landscape and they make it a lot less scary.
- CCBC or The Cooperative Children’s Book Center offers some quick, free 1/2 hour sessions on books (yes, with paper!) So, in the process of learning about some new books, you’ll be actively involved in new technology! They even offer podcasts so you can listen on your own schedule.)
- WebJunction: even if your state isn’t officially a part of WebJunction, you can still take advantage of the professional development they offer like courses on just about everything and cool webinars.) Again, by participating yourself in some of this technology, you’ll be more likely to recommend and employ it in your own library.
- TechSoup is a great hub for nonprofits and they offer all kinds of guides on topics like creating RFPs, How to Tell Your Digital Story and How to Plan a Successful Webinar.
- The University of Wisconsin has some great resources like Creating a Vibrant Facebook Fan Page for Your Library and Gaming in the Library and Youth and Family Outreach.
- Hewlet-Packard Learning Center for all kinds of free courses on digital photography, Facebook and Twitter: Getting Started and Using Google Desktop.
- Slideshare where people in all sectors share their PPT presentations.
- and last, but not least, ALSC Online Sessions and Student Sessions- they’re not just for students.