The Idea Lab is the SPLAT team’s new resource for librarians across the state. It is an opportunity to explore and test new ideas without having to sacrifice a tight budget on something new. Currently it is stocked with Maker Space ideas, the hot new trend in library services. As the SPLAT team has travelled
The last week of July Microsoft released Windows 10. This began the countdown clock for the free upgrade for the next year. I’m sure there are a lot of libraries in the process of upgrading. Free certainly is appealing. But is it right? With technology it is best to try and stay up to date
I have long believed that Linux could be more widely used in the library, especially on public access computers. It’s another thing to actually experiment with a Linux OS on public access computers. Would there be push-back from patrons and staff? A few months ago I had the opportunity to actually try it. My library
Minecraft is a very popular video game. This game with it’s low-tech looking graphics provides opportunities for world-building and problem solving. Mods, or add-ons, provide additional building resources, alternative gaming scenarios, and bad guys. In many ways the game is a graphic version of Legos. Gaming in the library is not usually considered a STEM
We’ve all been there. The computer that dies or becomes infected with spyware, printers no longer printing, power failures, equipment damage due to power surges, or the internet goes down. I’ve dealt with all of this the last few weeks at the library. The initial reaction is to panic which invariably makes the problem worse.
Many of my technology encounters at the library have been with Seniors. Sometimes the request for help is simple. Sometimes it is complex. In nearly all cases there is a level of frustration. Seniors require a different approach in teaching style. Kids, even when they don’t have access to technology at home, have a natural
Personal devices are the hot new consumer electronic trend right now. Some show really great promise at solving certain medical problems. Others just further propel people toward increased internet connectivity and socialization. These devices present problems for libraries in many of the some ways that tablets, ipods, and laptops do. There is the increased bandwidth
Just over a year ago I started looking at my library’s website. It was in dreadful need of updating. The style, content and organization had not really been touched since the last major update several years ago. Web designers recommend updating a website’s visual design and function every 2-3 years, and ours was certainly overdue.
I was actually anxious to get my hands on the Coby Kyros tablet in the gizmo garage and give it a try. These tablets are android based and retail for around $100 or less. I wanted to see if these inexpensive tablets can do just as good a job as a more expensive iPad, and
During one of many great conversations during our SPLAT Magic Valley adventure, Gena mentioned adding the Roku to our gizmo garage. I blurted out, “Isn’t the Roku going away and turning into just an app?” Of course I said this in a cloud of fatigue and hunger after a long day of travel. There was