Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Growing Pains

OK. I am taking a professional development course offered by a colleague in the Brookline Public Schools -- a well-organized, interesting course on Web 2.0 -- the interactive web. I am finding it quite hard to learn the ins and outs of wikis, RSS feeds and related media. I keep telling myself it is good to be challenged, right? It is good to be a student struggling with concepts and skills. I hope I can persist and learn new things! Wish me well. I hope to be able to envision ways to use these new skills as a librarian, and to support good use by students and other teachers.

The technology learning curve for those of us working in libraries -- particularly over the span of the past two decades -- has been enormous. Can you believe that there were few computers in libraries, no email, and our catalogs were drawers full of cards? My early courses in library science and technology dealt with overhead projectors and cassette players, not video data projectors, podcasts, Smart Boards, PowerPoint and blogs! What huge changes there have been. I feel privileged to have been on the scene as unprecedented technology transitions have taken place, though I have hardly felt like a pro. Sometimes I have been led kicking and screaming into a new technology use; other times I have relished mastering a technique that makes a task smoother and more accurately completed. I definitely view technology as a great tool -- a means to an end -- and I enjoy it for that reason: it helps me do the work of a librarian and organize the details of life more effectively. Other people may enjoy using computer technology as a hobby or pleasurable recreation; more power to you. Maybe things will change for me someday, but I am not there yet!