Give Your Technology Program a Little 'Class'! by ProQuest


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									        Give Your
            a Little

        A                               by   Ormilla Vengersammy
                    re traditional libraries being forced to change due to the demand
                    for modern technology? What if I say to you that in today’s society,
        technology is the key to the success and growth of traditional libraries? That
        is true for the Orange County (Fla.) Library System (OCLS), where I have
        worked for more than 5 years now. As the library’s technology training man-
        ager, I oversee the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of
        the computer training program for classroom and online delivery for both the
        public and staff. My greatest passion is for technology and teaching others
        how to use it.
            In this article, I would like to enlighten readers on how OCLS has given
        its technology program a little “class” and how other libraries can do it too!

        At OCLS, Computer Classes Begin, Improve, and Expand
            First, let me tell you how it all started. The Orange County Library System
        began to offer basic technology classes in July 2000. The computers were funded
        through a grant awarded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The first
        classes were offered in Computers 101 at no cost to Orange County Library Dis-
        trict cardholders. The classes were all 1 hour and covered the basics, from how
        to use a computer to applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.


14 | MARCH 2009 »
                        COMPUTERS IN LIBRARIES
                give your technology program a little ‘class’!

   Libraries must help
  our communities and
  our youths prepare for
       the future.

  The answer?
Technology training.

            « MARCH 2009          | 15
   give your technology program a little ‘class’!

            Over time, the library staff noticed                                                                                 through technology training, as well as
         that the demand for the classes in-                                                                                     to offer other services and resources that
         creased, so the offering of classes also                                                                                can best meet the needs of the region’s
         increased. Classes were also offered                                                                                    growing Spanish and Haitian commu-
         throughout the other 13 library locations.                                                                              nities. Based on demographics, these
            Structure eliminates overlap:                                                                                        computer classes are offered in library
         When I arrived at OCLS, my main focus                                                                                   locations with higher percentages of
         was to enhance the training program                                                                                     Spanish and Haitian clients.
         and to centralize the creation of com-                                                                                      Then there are our children. At
         puter classes.With my experience in cor-                                                                                OCLS, we realize that young people in
         porate training in classroom delivery and                                                                               the community are the future. We
         curriculum development, I found the li-                                                                                 strive to support, encourage, and edu-
         brary’s training program was not con-                                                                                   cate youth of all ages with mind-stim-
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