It’s been a busy few months for me. A new boss at work, a death in the family, extra hours starting up at work, and…

Our library was awarded a very large DCEO Eliminating the Digital Divide Grant. This is the second time that our library has received this grant (the first was before I started). The first time around, the library was able to build its Tech Link Lab which includes 10 computers, a smart board, projector, and instructor’s computer. The library hired people to teach computer classes and also updated some of the existing technology.

THIS TIME (in which I am involved), we are nearly doubling the computer classes, updating existing technology, and adding touch screens to some of the endcaps in the Non-Fiction section for catalog searching. I get the exciting role of administrator upstairs, which translates into scheduling the classes (mostly held in the Tech Lab, with 4 part time instructors), helping to develop materials so that classes can be covered if an instructor is absent, covering said classes when I can, and developing online classes for the library.

I am super excited by this! My first two classes will be mini-courses on copyright and evaluating sources. We also plan to create online versions of our current offerings, which range from basic computer skills to advanced Photoshop. This grant will allow us to reach more patrons, particularly those that cannot make it into the library for a variety of reasons (scheduling, physical/psychological difficulties, etc.). Hopefully, we can use this money to expand our reach in the community and enhance their skills with technology.

Along with the extra hours, I get extra (non-grant) responsibilities! My collection area has doubled from the 000s, to include the 100s. I’ve been looking at statistics to start weeding my sections (there was still a Windows ME Book on the shelf), and ordering books to support our classes. I really love learning collection development, and am excited to take over a new section, particularly as it is quite different from my current one. If you have any good tips for these areas, let me know!

And finally, I will be expanding my Reader’s Advisory skills as well. I have been in charge of the display area since I started last September, but will now work on creating bibliographies as well. What I love most about this is that the bibliographies make it easier for staff to conduct Reader’s Advisory in areas they are not familiar with. Having in-house lists constructed of items the library owns makes it easier to find an appropriate book as well.  It allows the independent/socially anxious patrons to take a list and look on their own.

There has been a lot of excitement the last few months, and I am still adjusting to it all, but it’s been fun! What’s new and exciting at your library?