Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Technology Core Competencies

I have been working on the core competencies and have a few questions for the group. I have in my notes that we wanted three levels from basic to advanced. In going over the items to include, I have hit a roadblock. If we are talking about technology core competencies for KS library workers then we are talking about all the workers, not just the libarians. Most of our libraries are so small that there is no distinction because everyone is a librarian. My first draft is for the basics that everyone should know. After the basics I am not sure how to proceed. It depends on the job function as to what the next level of competencies would be. Below is my first draft. The italicized items at the end are things that someone should know. If it is a one person library then that is the person. If it is a five person library then I am not sure how to look at the list. Please give me some feedback.

Technology Core Competencies for Kansas Library Workers

Library staff deals with technology every day. It is important that library staff have the necessary technology skills to be able to do their jobs. Technology competencies can assist libraries in assessing staff technology training needs and selecting or developing an appropriate training program.

This set of competencies is intended to serve as a base model for technology competencies among Kansas library workers.

• A basic understanding of technology terminology (pdf)

• Parts of the Computer
 Identify Computer, Monitor, drives (floppy drive, CD ROM drive), and ports (USB, parallel)
 Turn a computer on and off correctly
 Use the mouse (left-click, right-click, double-click, drag), keyboard (functions keys, shortcuts), and other peripheral devices attached to the computer (scanner, speakers, flash drives)

• Printers
 Turn a printer on and off correctly
 Load paper and cartridges
 Clear a paper jam
 Manage print spool

• Photocopiers, telephones, fax machines
 Operate and perform basic troubleshooting for these machines

• Backups
 Recognize the importance of backing up files
 Know how to back up files

• Web Browsers
 Understand web browser functions such as back, forward, home, print, print preview, and history
 Understand URLs
 Know basic search methods
 Create and maintain bookmarks or favorites
 Search for text in a web page
 Print all or part of a web page
 Know how to enter data into and maneuver around on-line forms

• E-mail
 Understand how to sign up for an e-mail account
 Compose, address, send, receive, open, reply, forward, and delete e-mail
 Send and receive attachments
 Store and retrieve messages
 Sort messages by date, subject, sender
 Manage an address book

• Word Processing
 Create, format, save, open, and print a document
 Change font style and size, cut and paste, bold, italicize, underline, and center text
 Understand print preview

• Operating System
 Find and launch applications from the desktop or menu
 Toggle between different windows using the taskbar
 Resize, minimize, maximize windows

• Files and Folders
 Understand the difference between files and folders
 Make a new folder
 Copy and paste, drag and drop
 Open, save or delete files and folders
 Store/back-up files on floppy disks, CDs, flash drives, and other removable media
 Knowledge of file extensions

• Know what security software or hardware is used on staff and public computers and how it protects the computers
• Maintain secure passwords and have a password management system
• Be aware of the potential security and privacy threats while using e-mail and the Internet (including cookies, downloading malicious files, unsecured communications, viruses, e-mail hoaxes, spyware, adware, and phishing)

• Know how to end non-responsive programs
• Know how to reboot the workstation
• Understand cables, power cords, and switches on all equipment
• Know where to get help or technical support

Library Resources
• Library’s e-resources
 Know the webpage address for your library
 Know what resources can be found on your library homepage
 Know the webpage address for the library’s catalog
 Know how to search by author, title, keyword, and subject in the catalog

• State’s e-resources
 Know how to use a KS Library Card
 Know what resources are available with a KS Library Card

• Electronic Mailing List (listserv)
 Subscribe to a Kansas listserv such as KANLIB-L
 Know how to post messages to the listserv

• Policies
 Be familiar with and able to locate the library’s technology-related policies and procedures

Know how to disable the security software or hardware
Maintain a software inventory
Public use workstation management
Change the default home page
Clear temporary Internet files and clear history
Maintain an existing web page
Enter data in the on-line Kansas State Statistical Report
Understand copyright and fair use rules as related to electronic resources
Understand the use of filtering software on public computers, if applicable
Know how to issue a Kansas Library Card
Understand and use Boolean searching
Know how to use the Kansas Library Card and Kan-Ed databases

• Spreadsheets
• Locate tutorials and/or help
• Use “Save As”
• Change paragraph formatting
• Change page setup
• Ability to use workstation management software


At 11:40 AM, Blogger twiggle said...

I think this is an excellent start. I'm going to digest on it for a while then get back to you with some comments.

and an excellent use of the blog, I might add. :)

At 12:16 PM, Blogger Joe Tho said...

I think we could go a little nutsoid with this if we are not careful. One thing to be careful of is platform-specific stuff, and stuff that is dated (ie-"know how to troubleshoot win95" -bad example, but you get the idea).

Another thing is size- if the basic thing is small and manageable, and remains relatively constant, but refers to subsections (for lack of a better term) that contain the nuts and bolts and could be kept up to date...?

I am sticking with my code name of "Joe Tho", twiggle. "Twiggle"?

I am going to call NEKLS and ask for "Twiggle" and see what happens.

Stand by.

At 12:21 PM, Blogger Joe Tho said...

***begin username test*****

"Good afternoon, North East Kansas Library System, Diane speaking, may I help you?"

"Hi Diane, this is Joe Tholen from south east. How are you?"

"Oh hi Joe, I'm fine."

"May I speak with Twiggle?"

brief pause.


"Twiggle? Ummm, I don't believe we have anyone here by that name."


*******End of test***********


ps at least I have a picture on mine, in case you arenm't sure who Joe is.

At 1:54 PM, Blogger twiggle said...

Hippie. ;)

You're in the fashion industry, eh?


And yes, this would be your friendly NEKLS Tech Specialist.

At 3:25 PM, Blogger Sharon said...

Yes, I think we need to use a layered approach, as we've talked about before. One way that this could be done is to group the various skills into sections by job requirements.

The first could be skills needed for library staff who assist patrons (ever! even if not daily) and work at any 'desk job', which would include pretty much everyone. This skill set should encompass those needed on the front lines (all kinds of Internet assistance, printer troubleshooting, etc.) that are required to help patrons, as well as standard office computer skills, such as working with files & folders, basic office productivity software, email, and so forth.

The second set could cover the behind-the-scenes and maintenance tasks. These would include backups, software installation and updates, adding hardware peripherals, system maintenance (defrag, remove spyware) and that sort of thing. Not everyone who works in a library needs to know this, but SOMEONE (or sometwo or more) at every library does.

A third set could cover specialized tasks, like basic web page creation and updates. Not every library has this particular need right now, but I think it is something we should firmly encourage and support. This is the area where I would expect to see the most change, as new ideas become relevant to libraries (blogs might be another area of increasing importance as time goes by!), and we might want to consider this as a fluid set of electives to add to the basic levels of competency.

I think you've got a good list going here! I did run across another listing in two parts, "30 must-have PC skills" that I thought might be of interest to the group...
...interesting to see what the author includes here. This wasn't compiled for a library setting, of course, but interesting nonetheless.

At 12:46 PM, Blogger Joe Tho said...

Hi, Joe here, and here is the be-all end-all preliminary list of tentative possibilities as determined by the ce committee I am serving on:

Continuing Skills Training Curriculum

-Computers and Library Equipment
-Automated Library Systems
-Office Productivity Software
-Internet /Email/Web Design
-Technology Planning
-Technology and Communication
-Discount Programs
-New and Emerging Technologies

Our mission is to expand these, and probably develop some sort of sequential order of skill level. And also develop 2 brief crash courses based on the above, to be part of a state-sponsored "Introduction to Librarianship (I & II)"

See you tomorrow. I will bring paper versions of the above with room to scrawl on, but I think we should spend our limited time tomorrow decided how to go about it, and establishing responsibilities and a timeline. IMHO, anyway.

At 2:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Post if a little old....


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