As I lay awake last night waiting for my two-year-old daughter's fever to climb down from its 103.1 peak, I contemplated which photo I should use to introduce myself to TechSource readers. I'd shot some self-portraits in my library, some in my back yard, and some in my house. I've chosen this one to remind us all that--at least for me--the most important purpose and benefit of technology is to connect human beings with each other, inside and outside our libraries.
I have been a librarian since the 1990s; technology has been an increasingly large part of each of my job descriptions. My first position included keeping an 8-station CD-ROM LAN up and running and writing the first web page for the college where I worked. It got more complicated from there, as technology became more pervasive in libraries: first abstracting and indexing databases and then our catalogs moved to the web, as did information about our institutions (after a brief love affair with gopher). Flash forward to today, where social networking has replaced email and augments instant messaging to keep us connected; banks and rows of public-use computers have been replaced with reconfigurable work spaces, comfortable furniture, laptops, and near-ubiquitous wifi (or the dream thereof). The common thread tying all these technologies together is people. In our libraries, students hunt for articles, faculty gather data, high school students--or their 20-year alumni--connect via Facebook, and people of all ages find books, DVDs, magazines, games and more to satisfy all sorts of needs. The technologies we provide in our libraries make all this possible.
I am pleased to join the TechSource Blogging team to bring you TechShots, a series of photos that showcase how technology is being and has been used in our libraries. Some of the photos will be taken by me, but some of the TechShots will come from you, TechSource readers. Watch the blog for details!