Library staff development, Resources for Trainers

Tech Static

I want to help spread the word about the all new resource, Tech Static. Stephanie did such a nice job writing about it over on the MaintainIT blog that I’m just going to copy and share that here.


Re-posted from:

The Tech Static, a new collection development resource for technology titles, published its inaugural issue today. Included in this first issue was an announcement regarding the new MaintainIT Cookbook, Joy of Computing – Planning for Success. Hooray!

The amazing Rachel Singer Gordon, The Tech Static’s creator, was the columnist forLibrary Journal’s “Computer Media” review column since 2002, until the column was recently discontinued. This left a large gap in library literature: no other librarian-targeted publication currently reviews computer books on a regular basis. To fill that gap, Singer Gordon created The Tech Static, a new resource for librarians focusing on reviewing technology-related books.

The Tech Static assists librarians with technology-related collection development. To this end, it contains:

  • Reviews of current computer books
  • Reviews of technology-related titles targeted at librarians
  • Collection development articles (weeding, “must-haves,” balancing a computer book collection)
  • Prepublication alerts
  • Publisher press releases
  • DVD and ebook reviews
  • Announcements
  • … and more!

“I’m pleased to continue providing — and expanding on! — coverage of technology titles,” said Singer Gordon. “Anyone involved with collection development in this area is invited to subscribe to this new free resource.” The Tech Static is available online at; readers can also subscribe via RSS or email.

The Tech Static is also currently seeking writers for technology-related collection development articles.

Contact Rachel Singer Gordon with any questions or comments at

Library staff development, Patron Training, Train the trainer opportunities

In the Club

Talking technology

It has been a long time since I belonged to a living, breathing, get together and eat chocolate and talk literature kind of book club. I’d like to be part of one again someday, but for now, non-work time needs to be focused on dissertation — writing it, defending it; too many y-e-a-r-s of life have been about it; ready to be done.

I do get to be regularly involved with a different sort of book club, however.  Every month I participate in a technology book club discussion for MaintainIT. We choose a chapter from one of the MaintainIT Cookbooks and then gather online to discuss it.

I like it as a technology learning format. In the fall of 2003, I published an article in Computers in Libraries magazine called, “Everything you need to know about training you learned in summer reading programs”. I had observed the organization and collaboration and energy that happened around summer reading programs (in large libraries and in small) and wished, Why can’t we do that with technology training?

A lot has happened in the years in between then and now. I love the creativity and innovation happening, with interesting, large-scale technology training programs and smaller efforts, too. One of the very best examples is the influential Learning 2.0 program aka “23 Things”. Helene Blowers has discussed the similarities between 23 Things and summer reading program. Lori Reed wisely pointed out to me that technology book clubs really are like the 23 Things style learning activities. As she said, “the ideal technology training session would always consist of self study followed by an in-person session where learners have the opportunity to ask questions and get a deeper understanding of the technology.”

At NEKLS, we started an online book discussion related to technology titles, too. There are so many possibilities, I think. If you’re doing some sort of technology book club, I’d love to hear about it (in the comments or email me please)!

Trainers will be talking about this idea of using book clubs for technology learning in next week’s MaintainIT train-the-trainer webinar. Sign-up if you would like to join the discussion (it’s free).

And if you’re going to be at the California Library Association conference in San Jose next week, I’ll be presenting on this topic there, too (“Not on Oprah’s List: The MaintainIT Project’s Technology Book Clubs”). Stop by and say ‘hi’!

Library staff development

Bringing it all back home

I just returned to Kansas (where I live) after spending some time in Minnesota (my home state). I delivered seven half-day workshops at various locations around the state and had a great time. The training was funded by LSTA $ and is part of the state’s voluntary certification program. Stops included: Wyoming, Mt Iron, Detroit Lakes, St. Cloud, Redwood Falls, Mankato, and Rochester. It was a wonderful time of year to be up there, with the fall leaves changing.

I feel like I have delivered train-the-trainer workshops so many times and in so many places, so it’s amazing that I continually learn so much. Each group brings new ideas and a new energy to the topic. The Impromptu Librarian was at one of the sessions and blogged her notes.

Next stop: Hawaii! Who would have thought being a librarian would be such a travel adventure?

Labs and Equipment, Library staff development, Resources for Trainers

One Library’s Story

While over at the Library Instruction wiki this evening (a resource we’ve written about here on the blog before), I followed a link and discovered a site called Library Classes At Any Library. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at the technology training program at the Vancouver Community Library (WA). It’s a fairly new site (started this year) and I think it’s going to be interesting to follow the developments over time. I’ve added it to my RSS reader!

Library staff development, Resources for Trainers

The CLENE Buzz Blog

I’m certain that anyone who is interested in training in libraries has already heard about CLENE’s new blog, CE Buzz, but I thought I would post it here in case you have not. My friends Max and Betha are writing for the blog and the other authors represent some of my favorite thinkers on the topic of continuing education in libraries, too.

CLENE is the ALA “thing” (round table, committee, etc) that is most useful to me. It stands for Continuing Library Education and Networking Exchange. If just one person interested in training learns about CLENE by reading this post, I’ll be giddy. Go. Now. Browse. Read the past newsletters. If you’re like me, you’ll feel like you’ve found your people… your place in the library world.

Buzz is one of those onomatopoeic words. Does it seem like a disproportionate number of onomatopoeic words include the letter “z”? Zap. Zing. Zip. Zoom. Fizz. Sizzle.