In early December the second class of Library Technology Academy participants convened in Austin at the new downtown Central Library for two full days of learning, challenging assumptions, and brainstorming new ways to implement and manage library technology.
Selected libraries for this year class are
- Atlanta Public Library (Atlanta, TX)
- Balch Springs Library and Learning Center (Balch Springs, TX)
- Bonham Public Library (Bonham, TX)
- The Library at Cedar Creek Lake (Seven Points, TX
- Charlotte Public Library (Charlotte, TX)
- Dickinson Public Library (Dickinson, TX)
- Dublin Public Library (Dublin, TX)
- Nancy Carol Roberts Memorial Library (Brenham, TX)
- Riter C.Hulsey Public Library (Terrell, TX)
Together, nationally known Library Technologist, Carson Block, and TSLAC’s Digital Inclusion Consultant, Cindy Fisher, led participants through exercises in library technology visioning, user experience, and community data gathering. This in-person experience was framed by the understanding that strategic, intentional technology planning is often overshadowed by enticing shiny new technology. Especially for small and rural libraries where funds can be tight, integrating data-driven decisions for technology purchases can mean the difference between tech that helps communities thrive and tech that collects dust.
The participants used the beautiful downtown Central Library as a living classroom, observing and taking notes on Austin Public Library’s space and noticing how users were interacting with things like technology, furniture, and the building itself. Using these observations and community data gathered the previous day, participants brainstormed potential projects they could implement with their technology grant, knowing that their own libraries, communities and spaces are unique. In the next few weeks, participants will be continuing their learning and project development through an online course. They will devise a library inventory and conduct a needs assessment before finalizing a final project. Stay tuned for the next update!
If you have questions about Library Technology Academy, please contact Cindy Fisher, Digital Inclusion Consultant, at email@example.com or 512-463-4855.