Public Access Technologies (PATs)

Posted in Information,of interest,Technology by millerlibrarian on June 21, 2009

After reading the article Public Access Technologies in Public Libraries:  Effects and Implications in Information Technology and Libraries, a few things stood out to me.  I have been a big proponent of PATs, but this article makes me step back and think of the effects and implications on public libraries.

In exploring the current and ever evolving tools used on the Internet, it is important to think about the many ways in which this impacts all parts of our libraries, from staff to hardware/software to services.  I get very excited about talking about and teaching people new tools and tricks in and for library settings, but realize that it is important to consider the longer term implications of this.

I think that the best way to do this is to put it out there – Yes, we will need continued, maybe even increased, tech support;  Yes, we will need to think about connectivity issues;  Yes, we will need to think about staff time and effort.  So, OK let’s plan for it – and not just financial planning.  Collaborative planning – how can we work together within library systems; who can we include and count on as part of the team; how do we successfully deal with external and internal pressures.

I guess what I’m saying is that I realize better that it is a two part message that I hope to continue to share:  Here are some really great tools and resources to use at your library and with your users AND here is what you need to think about and plan for in advance.  Do I have the answers, no of course not, but problems don’t go away if you don’t bring them up.  We need to face and tackle these effects and implications – so, let’s do it!

What do you think?


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