Here’s an example of a library technology training project making an impact! Check out The Dragonfly Project @ The Haines Borough Public Library (the library is located in a small, rural Alaskan community).
“Tech-savvy young people from ages 11 to 21 are the teachers, sharing their computer skills with others by becoming mentors. They learn how to use the library’s technology and resources, develop materials and techniques to teach concepts and skills, do community outreach, and work one-on-one with a wide variety of people.”
I like the project tag line, “Bringing Technology Awareness to the Community.” I think that word AWARENESS is an accurate description of the most important role library technology training can play. Many of today’s technology tools are intuitive and do not require step-by-step instruction to use them. Instead, I think people need resources and assistance to gain basic technology skills. Once they have achieved those skills, I think they can benefit from training opportunities that focus on awareness — training that provides a sense of possibilities and provides a venue for exploration and creativity.
Another thing I really like about this project is the emphasis on reaching out to the community. It’s not just about serving whoever walks through the door. It’s thinking about who is outside the door, unaware of the resources and potential that exist.
If you’re like me, you wondered why the project is named “dragonfly”. Here’s the explanation from the site:
“In Tlingit mythology, dragonflies are thought to be transports of the human soul for shamans, symbols of transformation. Our hope is by helping young people teach adults the ways of computer technology lives will be transformed.”