My colleage, the "Almost-Bald-Technical-Trainer" and I set off today for the Computers in Libraries Conference in Alexandria, Virginia. The conference is being held at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City Hotel.
Last year, our library system (Harford County Public Library), held a Technology Fair to introduce some major Library 2.0 concepts to our entire staff. We felt that the fair was such a useful tool for introducing staff to Library 2.0 that we sent out a couple proposals to present what we did to other librarians. Surprise, surprise, both of our proposals were accepted!
So - here we are at the first of the two conferences to present our library as a case study in creative ways to train adult staff. Our bit was intended to supplement a morning pre-conference session (I'll elaborate in a later edit).
Our first presentation, the longest one, was today. We had 24 attendees from all over the country, most of whom were trainers or administrators who were looking for some good ideas to get their staff on board with using newer technologies. We had the "Librarian In Black," Sarah Houghton-Jan with us, and who presented her own case study on developing technology-oriented competencies for library staff. Her training dovetailed VERY nicely with ours.
I suppose that I shouldn't have been surprised to learn that people were REALLY excited and interested in our case study. The Tech Fair was a major undertaking, and our system worked major magic, from our administrators, who supported us all the way, to all the supporting trainers, on down to every single participant. We got so many positive comments from the attendees of our presentation today. Ranging from a simple personal "thank you" for the presentation, to a hearty: "I want to do this in MY system!" We had questions for about 20 minutes after the session ended!
Now, there are at least 24 librarians who will at least share our experiences with their systems. Icing on the cake: Right after our presentation, Information Today hosted a "Gaming and Gadgets Petting Zoo" right next door to where our session took place. The intent was to provide a place to unwind and socialize. It was a wild time. "Guitar Hero" in one corner. "Rock Band" in another (this game is way cool - you sing and play drums or guitar for points). A Wii was in another corner, where people bowled and boxed with one another. Librarians BOXING! In the back of the room, people watched or played board games.
Maurice (Almost Bald...etc), has a video of me playing the drums. I am in SO much trouble... unless I can get that darn camera back from him! Here is what he has to say about our first presentation.
I have pictures, too - you'll have to wait until tomorrow, though. I'm bushed!