Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tech Talks

Tech Talks are a new type of library program aimed at providing patrons connection to new emerging technological tools. It's goal is to do roughly what book talks do, but for technology; provide people a place to find new technologies, talk about how technologies impact their lives, and discover new uses for technology at their library. Each Tech talk should be organized around a theme, and have a between 4-7 minutes spotlight on 3-5  technologies, apps, or tools rather than focused on a particular technology or product. 

While technology programming at libraries generally features longer sessions organized around a class or workshop model, Tech Talks are a poppier way to connect patrons with emerging tools and trends. Just like a book talk on non-fiction subjects, Tech talks can integrate elements of a class, or demo, but should included a broader focus on multiple tools. For example a Tech Talk on word processing programs might include a demo of certain MS Word features, but would also discuss other programs.

The goal of Tech Talks is to decrease alienation with technology and encourage trans-literacy. Trans-literacy, is the ability to communicate across a variety of platforms. Tech Talks should be focused on productive technologies rather than on technologies that drive consumerism. Technologies that allow for the storage of data, the creation of artistic works, creation of data sets, and representation of information (ie websites/blogs) should be showcased. Patrons should also be given a basic understanding of how the technology works, and any underlying issues.

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