My love of technology certainly began at an early age. From 4th grade on I attempted to persuade my dad in buying me a Macintosh laptop, in middle school I picked up a watch/beeper online, and in high school I ordered a used Apple Newton on eBay. In my late teens, I completed internships with tech companies and took apart computers for fun. Now I find myself in the library armed with an IT department to handle all things tech and often put in a position where tampering with software and/or hardware is a no-no.
The back-end aspects of technology interests me, but certainly not as much as the information and personal interactions had as a librarian. This brings me to how machines interact with people. For example, my mom has used a computer but only at work. Using one program that runs a very specific function for the job at hand and doesn’t require knowledge of e-mail, the internet, instant messaging, attachments, networking, spyware, etc. However, I’m looking to sign her up for a very basic computer class offered for free at the library. A class that I imagine explains what a mouse, monitor, keyboard, and operating system are. Perhaps teaching patrons how to navigate the mouse pointer and double-click. Maybe even right-click!
As I’ve grown up with technology and find usual tasks simple, I often place myself into the shoes/mindset of library patrons who may be unfamiliar with modern technology. It’s important to consider patrons as perpetual first-timers, these could be new concepts for them: call numbers, the catalogue, and/or computer use. Unfortunately, contemporary society expects a great many things to happen with digital speed and quickness. Honestly, we need to slow down when it comes to training and helping patrons (I’m guilty of giving an answer all too fast). Questions may not come up or something can be missed if we help with blazing speed. Technology can be downright confusing, even for the experienced; so let us go forth and teach, keeping in mind that we are teaching people, not technology.