Evolving skills for emerging technologies: a collaborative approach

Brown, Jennifer C.; Crocamo, James T.; Bielskas, Amanda S.; Ransom, Ellie H.; Vanti, William B.; Wilfong, Krystie A.

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the implementation of a skills development project aimed at increasing the technology competencies of participating librarians in Columbia University’s Science & Engineering Libraries, in response to changing instructional needs.

Adopting a DIY or Maker learning model gave librarians a perfect opportunity to experience learning new technology skills just as their users encounter them.

The authors conclude that this collaborative project methodology could potentially fit a large variety of different library environments, providing other institutions with an excellent opportunity to reassess and revamp staff skills, no matter their instructional focus.

The literature notes that previous library staff training models were largely devised for newly matriculated Library and Information Science graduates preparing to enter the workforce. Burgeoning technology developments require libraries to explore novel methods to expose staff to new technology skills; this case study applies the programmatic lens of the Maker Movement to a collaborative staff learning model.


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November 16, 2017


Keywords: Professional development, Library technology, Staff development, Academic technologies, Microcomputers, Technology training