Use Your Powers for Good, and Not for Evil: Expected Technology Competencies and the Library Worker

Presentation at the 2009 Ohio Library Support Staff Institute, August 3, 2009

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John Burke, MU Middletown

As the world around libraries continues to grow in technological complexity, libraries continue to find new applications for existing and new technologies. Library workers face an ever-increasing array of devices, software, and techniques to learn along a spectrum leading from familiarity to comfort to mastery. It can be difficult for any library staff member, let alone a library organization, to have clarity on what technology competencies are commonly expected, or where on the spectrum of competency one falls. Each library must decide which competencies are fitting and reasonable for its own workers to possess, but it can be helpful to see what expectations are widely held. Even once that clarity is gained, the strategy to gain greater comfort and ability with technologies may not be obvious. There are many possibilities of internal and external educational efforts to apply to technology training.