Summer camp isn’t just for kids. Have you ever thought about setting a specific block of time to focus on technology planning and evaluate staff members’ skills?
That’s essentially what the Nebraska Library Commission did by hosting Technology Planning Summer Camp 2: Don’t Just Survive, Thrive! The event was designed to help libraries that received grants as part of the Library Broadband Builds Nebraska Communities initiative make the most of the new technology available to them. This is a great idea that associations might adapt for their organizations.
According to the Nebraska Government website, the camp focused on the use of technology and how to prepare a technology plan that would serve future needs. We’ve worked with numerous associations that could use dedicated time to focus on these matters. Further, the training offered during the camp addressed three primary questions:
- How will you sustain and maintain the equipment you received after the grant ends?
- What sorts of training should be planned for both your patrons and your staff?
- How can you network with other libraries to share knowledge?
There are numerous ways these questions are adaptable and applicable to associations.
For example, once your association has implemented a new AMS or other technology solution, do you have a plan for sustaining your use of it? In what areas do your staff members need additional training? Are there super users who might be able to assist their colleagues? Have you joined user groups or online communities that might help you maximize your use of a new solution?
In closing two other aspects of the Nebraska Library Commission’s Technology Planning Summer Camp 2 are worth noting. The training was open to all public libraries, and it was designed not to “be a parade of talking heads.” Instead attendees’ active participation was encouraged. Making technology training readily available to everyone on staff at your association and encouraging them to share their ideas and concerns is essential to its success. Send them all to camp!