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In order to provide the best possible customer service, reference librarians must continually seek ways to integrate new technology into the way we do things.  Screensharing technology can be a big plus when doing a reference interview by telephone.  Let's start the discussion about where we can go with this technology.

A new approach to readers’ advisory--the aim of this five-week asynchronous online course is to get participants immersed in a slice of genre fiction that they wouldn’t normally read on their own so that they could carry on an intelligent conversation about it with a library patron.  More generally, the course is all about changing our attitudes, namely: recognizing the importance of browsing books outside our respective comfort zones so that we can better serve a diverse constituency of readers.  

The workload will vary from roughly two to four hours per week.  

This course is suitable for librarians working with teenagers or adults in the public library setting or school media specialists.  

A working knowledge of presentation technology, such as Microsoft Powerpoint or Google Slides would be helpful.


Indie books, meaning anything published outside the domain of the large publishing conglomerates, have been getting a lot of press lately.  There’s a trend in the library profession to be a little more welcoming toward them.  However, librarians face a number of barriers in dealing with indie authors and publishers. Through this two-week asynchronous online course, librarians will be challenged to discover for themselves, through experiential learning activities (ELAs), whether indie books are really worth the bother.  There is also a technology component to the course in that participants will be encouraged to join LibraryThing.com, a social networking platform, where they will post their book reviews.  This course is geared to librarians working in any division of the public library sector.


The Library Tech Project is an asynchronous online course, designed to give librarians direct exposure to different types of library-related technology that they may have heard about but have not had the opportunity to use.  The emphasis is on experiential learning, where participants handle different devices to see what they do and how they work.  We may also test-drive digital resources.  Participants must be willing to travel, if necessary, to nearby libraries in order to utilize equipment that is not available where they are currently employed.  There is no fixed list of things we'll be studying.  Rather, the course is set up as more of a collaborative effort, where people get to voice their preferences based on the things covered in our course textbook, which is Neal-Schuman Library Technology Companion, 5th ed. (Burke. 2016).  

Each participant will be required to turn in four site visit reports describing where he went to get the hands-on experience and what he learned.  Reports will be posted in online forums where others can read and comment on them.  Mentoring of one another will be encouraged.

Appropriate for teenagers and adults with little or no prior computer training.


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