July 2, 2009

Happy Birthday to… Us!

A year ago, after discussing it for several months within the Library’s Technology Department, we started this blog. In our first post, Welcome to The Tech Desk, I wrote that we had two reasons for this project.

First, we wanted to continue the discussion we have with our public around technology issues. We wanted to share new websites and tools, improve our skills, and create a searchable body of knowledge useful for both Library staff and our users.

Second, we wanted to play with Web 2.0 technology. We had just begun a website redesign – a design of which we are in the final steps – and wanted to explore content management: allowing and encouraging all staff members to contribute to the content on our website. We believed, and still do, that such a site will be more user-friendly for our public and staff.

After a year, I would evaluate our progress as a success.

In terms of content, we have posted 556 stories, an average of nearly two per day. At the beginning, I set a goal of 20 stories a month: one per full-time staff per week, and one per part-time staff per month. But many staff members discovered that the more they wrote, the easier it was to write more. We have passed on new sites and tips from our computer classes, reviewed browsers and new products, commented on technology news, and publicized Library events.

In June 2009, our site was hit 2,200 times – not a bad number. We believe we have created a space for many of our technology-savvy Library users to keep in contact with the staff. We receive a slow, but steady stream of comments. And, as an added benefit, we have used The Tech Desk as a teaching tool for non-Technology Department staff, suggesting sites, resources, and computing tips.

In addition, the staff has used The Tech Desk to learn Web 2.0. We have learned how to write interesting, brief articles for the web that appeal to a broad range of computer user. We have learned to put sometimes complex processes into simple, step-by-step terms. And, though contributing to this blog has been voluntary, nearly 80% of the Department has chosen to do so.

And again, an unintended benefit is that by using this blog, staff has gained the confidence and interest to explore other social network sites, and expand the Library’s web presence on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and elsewhere.

So on our first birthday, I want to say thank you to all of you for reading us, making suggestions, sending ideas, and contributing to the success of The Tech Desk.


Anonymous said...

Also happy birthday to the United States. It's not cool to steal its thunder.

spacepenguine said...

I'm happy to see the adoption of new tech by the library, but I it was a little disheartening to me that on the teen computers the other day I couldn't access my gmail account to look at an email with a list of books while the person next to me plays computer games... and it's not like this situation doesn't exist in most educational computer situations, but that doesn't mean it should.