The Book

It’s a Conversation

I have spent the morning reading a report about the Mindspot project, from the Aarhus Library in Denmark. If you’re not ready to read the 33 page report (it’s worth your time…), then take a peek at this YouTube video first, Mindspot the Movie: The Library as a Universe.

The project is all about turning the library into an “interesting and relevant partner in the lives of young people.” It is is one of the best examples of being “user-centered” that I have seen. It’s exciting to see this type of approach in practice!

The book I am writing is about creating user centered technology services in libraries and this project represents the ideas I’m trying to express… continuous conversation. Hmm… now I just need to find a way to travel to Denmark to visit this library.

Patron Training, The Book

Want vs. Need

I’m working on the book and thinking about wants vs. needs. Regarding technology, what do library users need and what do they want? There’s another level to this question, too. What do librarians think users want and what do they really want (and what do librarians think users need and what do they really need)?

I’ve been doing some searching on the topic of want vs. need and see it approached in psychological (think about Maslow’s hierarchy for ex.) and in economic (think about your personal budget for ex.) ways.

The book will cover many aspects of library technology, but since I’m posting this on my training blog, what are user wants and needs regarding library technology training? What classes do they want? What classes do they need? How do you determine those wants and needs?

The patron technology training classes I most frequently see offered are:
– Introduction to Computers
– Introduction to the Internet
– Introduction to Microsoft Word
(often with more creative titles).

They seem like NEED sorts of classes — essential elements of basic technological literacy in 2009. What do you think? Is your library offering classes that are serving wants or needs? Have you done any formal research to determine user wants and needs? Or are the library’s class offerings based on informal knowledge (based on daily interactions with patrons)? Email me if you like or comment here! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic. Thank you!

Resources for Trainers, The Book

Writing a book!

“On behalf of Information Today, Inc. I am extremely pleased to offer you a publishing agreement…”

I received some exciting news! I’m going to be publishing a book with Information Today! I’m giddy, I’m nervous, and  I have soooo many ideas spinning around in my brain. It’s overwhelming and thrilling to think about the challenge of getting them from that spinning chaos to the page. I want it to be useful. I want it to be good.

The manuscript is due next summer and I’m sure I’ll blog about it a lot before then.  One of the chapters will be on technology training and I am asking the readers of this blog to please help provide me with examples and ideas.

How do you determine user needs related to technology training? Have you used surveys, focus groups, interviews, other… ? If you have done work in that area, I would love to interview you and highlight your examples in the book. Please email me or leave a comment here.