Episode 211: Technology Training for Library Staff

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Contents of this page:
  • Introduction
  • Background
  • A Few Technology Training Resources
  • Books We are Reading
  • Conclusion


Welcome back to Linking Our Libraries! We are broadcasting from Central MN Libraries Exchange. We are here to support libraries, and to help share all kinds of important information and resources with libraries of all types. Check out our website, subscribe to our weekly newsletter, join Goodreads online books groups, and our sign up for our daily book email. Do you need us to come to your library, or would you like to talk with us for a while? Just click!

Today we are talking about one of the biggies in the world of library work: Technology training. We all know it’s tough to keep up with the tech we need to use, and it can be even more complicated to help patrons to use their own tech! To help us with this, we have a Guest Host: Angie Kalthoff, Technology Integrationist in St Cloud School District 742.



We all struggle to keep up with technology! Today we are going to collect some strategies that you can use to keep up yourself, and that you can use to help your colleagues to work on their own tech skills.

We have a list of competencies from the American Library Association, with all kinds of different library jobs and library types. Every single one of these lists identifies technology as key, both in knowing about the latest tech and in being able to both use it and explain it to your patrons.


So now we have some different ideas about the standards you need to achieve. How do you ensure you are getting good training? How do you know you are getting the skills you need? If you go back to episode 202, we talked about Instructional Design, you can get more information there about strategies for good instruction. For our purposes here, the main thing you need to focus on for training is to have a specific goal you want to achieve, a way to do that, and an evaluation tool to see whether or not it was achieved. So, for example let’s say you want to learn more about VR technology (and you do!).

  • First you set a specific goal: how to integrate virtual reality tech into instruction for your library or your organization (school, university, hospital, science museum – whatever).
  • Second: figure out how to make that happen. There are all kinds of classes you can find online, or professional organizations such as the ALA or OCLC or MLA may offer training, or you might talk to a consultant who knows about this cool technology. (We are waving and pointing at Angie here! Be sure to check out her material!)
  • Then you implement it into practice – you actually use the VR tech, or you actually work with teachers to help them use it. Do that for a while – a one-shot class session, or a semester-long class – whatever makes sense for your mission.
  • Finally, you evaluate it! Go back to episode 208 to refresh your ideas on the material we discussed there on assessment and evaluation. But the important part is that you want to know whether you made things better. Did things change because of your training? The most fundamental issue in any evaluation process is to define what is “good” in your scenario. Was this good? If so: great! Keep it up! If not, make some changes.

One of the “fun” things about technology training is that it is never done. You will never know enough, and the field will always keep changing. Don’t get discouraged! Just adjust your own framework to know that there will forever be something new and interesting and cool out there – and you will keep discovering these things and keep learning new skills! (Continuous learning is not only important for continued job success, but helps to keep your brain agile as you get older. So for those of us who are aging rapidly (all of us!), tech is a tool to keep us young!)

Remember: CMLE is here to help you with training! If we don’t have the material here for you, we will help you find it. So if your technology needs are to get a better email – we can do that. If you need a lesson plan to do a one-shot class for patrons on using their Overdrive accounts – we can do that. If you want to learn all about the coolest VR tools out there – we can find you some good resources! (We’re library fans, not magicians!)

One of those resources is Angie Kalthoff. Angie, can you tell us about the technology training work you do?


A Few Technology Training Resources


Codecrafter (Volume 1) by Erica Sandbothe, “Tagg has come to Tilde for one reason: to become a Codecrafter, a sorcerer who can forge her own magic spells. The road isn’t an easy one. Tagg must face infinite loops, ornery students, tricky lang-monsters, and the wrath of a powerful queen.

Above all, she will face what it means to be a Codecrafter.

For the words that Tagg is learning aren’t just magical. They are computer science.

Codecrafter is set in a world where spells are software, magic is programmed, and one girl must use all of her skills to outwit an enemy bent on her destruction.”


Books We Are Reading

Angie Kalthoff:

Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age — From Picture Books to eBooks and Everything in Between, by Jason Boog “A program for parents and professionals on how to raise kids who love to read, featuring interviews with childhood development experts, advice from librarians, tips from authors and children’s book publishers, and reading recommendations for kids from birth up to age five.

Every parent wants to give his or her child a competitive advantage. In Born Reading, publishing insider (and new dad) Jason Boog explains how that can be as simple as opening a book. Studies have shown that interactive reading—a method that creates dialogue as you read together—can raise a child’s IQ by more than six points. In fact, interactive reading can have just as much of a determining factor on a child’s IQ as vitamins and a healthy diet. But there’s no book that takes the cutting-edge research on interactive reading and shows parents, teachers, and librarians how to apply it to their day-to-day lives with kids, until now.

Born Reading provides step-by-step instructions on interactive reading and advice for developing your child’s interest in books from the time they are born. Boog has done the research, talked with the leading experts in child development, and worked with them to compile the “Born Reading Essential Books” lists, offering specific titles tailored to the interests and passions of kids from birth to age five. But reading can take many forms—print books as well as ebooks and apps—and Born Reading also includes tips on how to use technology the right way to help (not hinder) your child’s intellectual development. Parents will find advice on which educational apps best supplement their child’s development, when to start introducing digital reading to their child, and how to use tech to help create the readers of tomorrow.”


CMLE Angie:

Seriously…I’m Kidding, by by Ellen DeGeneres  “”I’ve experienced a whole lot the last few years and I have a lot to share. So I hope that you’ll take a moment to sit back, relax and enjoy the words I’ve put together for you in this book. I think you’ll find I’ve left no stone unturned, no door unopened, no window unbroken, no rug unvacuumed, no ivories untickled. What I’m saying is, let us begin, shall we?”

Seriously… I’m Kidding is a lively, hilarious, and often sweetly poignant look at the life of the much-loved entertainer as she opens up about her personal life, her talk show, and joining the judges table of American Idol.”



The Cyclist Who Went Out in the Cold: Adventures Riding the Iron Curtain, by Tim Moore “Not content with tackling the Italian Alps or the route of the Tour de France, Tim Moore sets out to scale a new peak of rash over-ambition: 6,000 mile route of the old Iron Curtain on a tiny-wheeled, two-geared East German shopping bike.

Asking for trouble and getting it, Moore sets off from the northernmost Norwegian-Russian border at the Arctic winter’s brutal height, bullying his plucky MIFA 900 through the endless sub-zero desolation of snowbound Finland. Sleeping in bank vaults, imperial palaces and unreconstructed Soviet youth hostels, battling vodka-breathed Russian hostility, Romanian landslides and a diet of dumplings, Moore and his ‘so-small bicycle’ are sustained by the kindness of reindeer farmers and Serbian rock gods, plus a shameful addiction to Magic Man energy drink.

Haunted throughout by the border detritus of watchtowers and rusted razor wire, Moore reflects on the curdling of the Communist dream, and the memories of a Cold War generation reared on the fear of apocalypse―at a time of renewed East-West tension. After three months, twenty countries and a fifty-eight degree jaunt up the thermostat, man and bike finally wobble up to a Black Sea beach in Bulgaria, older and wiser, but mainly older.”




We know that tech can be a scary thing, especially because it can mean so many different things to everyone involved. But remember: CMLE is here to help! We will have a variety of resources available for you on our website, so you can browse around for ideas or materials that would be helpful.  And with such great members as Angie around, there is always a helping hand

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