Public Libraries Technology Interest Group

The Public Libraries Technology Interest met on Sunday, January 13th at the Four Seasons Hotel from 10-12 noon. Featured guests included Larra Clark from the ALA’s Office for Research and Statistics; and Kim Bolan and Robert Cullins authors of Technology Made Simple: An Simple Improvement Guide for Small and Medium Libraries.

Larra Clark discussed the recent study Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study 2006-2007: ALA Research Series. Larra discussed the highlights of the study. Some of the findings include: technology is bringing more, not less public library use; libraries infrastructure (space, bandwidth and staffing) is being pushed to capacity; and libraries need more technology planning and dedicated technology support. The report also includes a state by state summary of technology.

Kim Bolan and Robert Cullins, authors of Technology Made Simple: An Improvement Guide for Small and Medium Libraries, discussed their perceptions of technology in libraries. They were passionate about libraries but not books. They discussed thinking outside the box to troubleshoot many of the problems faced by small and medium libraries that do not have large budgets. User Centered Libraries was also a topic of discussion. Their book addressed the many problems face by small and medium libraries verses larger institutions. The focus of their book is the many creative ways to resolve technology problems in small and medium libraries.