Three weeks ago, our Library Emerging Technologies group began our weekly meetings. We divide the hour long session into halves:
- Hands on look at a new tool – all library staff welcome
- Project work by the “getting things done” group
Because we are focussing on new attitudes as well as tools, I’m telling my inner control freak to sit back and let the participants take ownership and decide the direction. My inner control freak tells me I’m being vague and wishy washy. My supervisor and I worked out the bottom line aims (Use this stuff to produce a useful project, create greater understanding of the tools for all library staff), then are leaving the rest up to the participants.
The first eight weeks involves learning about the tools (gmail, PBwiki etc) that we’ll use to run the project. I hope that after this, participants will start presenting about technology that has caught their eye.
I’ve booked all our meetings in PC labs, so everyone is sitting in front of a keyboard all meeting.
Here’s our terms of reference:
- To discover, incubate and communicate new technological tools so we can provide better service to our clients.
- To discover, understand and communicate new attitudes and expectations which come with the use of new technological tools.
This is done by:
- experimenting with using new web tools to run the business of the group.
- welcoming input and attendance by any member of library staff to any meeting/event
- maintaining current awareness of useful new technologies.
- assessing the potential of very new web tools, which may be unfinished or in beta, by hands on experimentation where feasible.
- accepting that some technologies assessed will be rejected after experimentation.
- experimenting with library service delivery in pilot projects using appropriate new technologies. (eg. podcasting)
- experimenting with library service delivery in pilot projects which accomodate new expectations brought about by new web tools (eg. allowing comments on an external blog)
- sharing information about useful new technologies with other library staff informally and by seminars and hands on workshops.
- identifying projects which could be better developed to full production by another area of the library, rather than remain the experimental responsibility of the group.
EXISTING EMERGING TECHNOLOGY LIBRARY GROUPS
- PLCMC Emerging technology committee blog
- Library Association of the City University of New York Emerging Technologies Committee
- Libraries in Technology Association Emerging Technologies Interest Group
- Canadian Library Association Emerging Technologies Group