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Smartphone 101: You Got the Phone, Now Learn to Use It!

April 5, 2012

At our library, one of the most sought after classes to take is the e-reader class. Whether the patron has a nook, kindle, iPad, or even their smartphone, the requests grow daily for more classes. I have seen more and more patrons come into our library this past year with their device and their need to learn how to use it. We don’t have enough staff (myself included) that know how to use these devices to help patrons nor are there enough classes offered to keep up with patron demand. I found this article “Smartphone 101: You Got the Phone, Now Learn to Use It, This was very apropos for me as a new owner of an iPhone with little knowledge of how to use it! It has been a slow process through trial and error but I am slowly learning the ins and outs of my phone. Libraries have a great opportunity to help their community by providing such classes, thus bringing in new patrons and showing new resources that the library has to offer.

My video this week revolved around my family’s deep admiration for Rick Steves travel advice and highlights the many advantages technology can offer the cost conscious traveler. There are many different apps available to aid travelers as well as free downloadable tour guides such as the ones Rick Steves offers on his website. All of these are great tools for librarians to utilize as sources for world traveling patrons. His “Smartphone Apps for Travelers” has step by step instructions as well as trip tips to make any vacation easier. But first, the patron needs to know how to use their device and feel comfortable with them in order to take advantage of the perks offered through high tech gadgets!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. vtlibrarystudent permalink
    April 6, 2012 5:50 am

    What a great idea for a tutorial video! I offer the e-reader course at my library and it is well-attended and afterward people always ask when is the next one. I look forward to seeing your video. Good luck!

    • April 6, 2012 1:50 pm

      Thanks vtlibrarystudent and I wish I had thought of making a tutorial video on the travel apps but unfortunately mine is just a vacation video..the free downloadable tours that Rick Steves offerred was my inspiration for my video in that they made the trip very enjoyable and cost effective. I just thought it would be a great tool for libraries to utilize.

  2. shenriksson permalink
    April 6, 2012 9:05 am

    I just recently joined the smartphone crowd, and (though I’m younger than the baby boomer crowd), it was a bit of an adjustment. I’m seeing more and more opportunities for people to attend classes/workshops about smartphones, e-readers, and other newer tech gadgets. You know, as more people become familiar with such things, libraries can take more and more advantage of these technologies–like making apps for patrons and creating interactive workshops where attendees do activities on their devices. I think this article is a great indicator of how much people want to learn how to use the darn things.

  3. April 6, 2012 9:21 am

    There are so many different types of phones that it is impossible to have staff trained on all of them, but it would be a good idea to offer teaching these classes to the HS students interested in accumulating volunteer hours. They get to teach others, mostly older individuals, how to use something they are very familiar with. I may bring this up to our managers. Thanks for the idea.

  4. April 6, 2012 2:50 pm

    How interesting! I didn’t know that Apple had workshops for customers. That’s kind of a good thing and bad thing, actually, as to me it signals that the devices aren’t being packaged with enough instructions on how to get the most out of the product. As for libraries teaching patrons how to use e-readers, my library would definitley get some use out of that! We have an e-reader support email address that we have to refer patrons to if we can’t answer their questions.

  5. April 6, 2012 4:54 pm

    This was an incredibly useful resource for me thanks you! I find that a great deal of my time is spent assisting patrons with services that relate to smartphone and tablet devices. The E-reader platform is here to stay whether we like it or not and for librarians, not knowing how to utilize this technology only weakens the public perception of our usefulness. I will be checking this out and referring it to my coworkers.!

  6. April 6, 2012 6:35 pm

    This was a good article and I will be tweeting with The Droid Guy if I decide to join the smartphone army next month. I think smartphones are the way to go (I’m leaning towards a Droid over iPhone) and classes that help people become more knowledgeable will only help push the technology further. -Phil

  7. vmfujikawa permalink
    April 6, 2012 6:48 pm

    Yay, Rick Steves! My husband, daughter and I just traveled from Greece to France with Rick in our pockets (& phones). He has really awesome electronic resources that we totally utilized while we were gone.

    On the subject of not knowing what your phone can do, I wish I could convience my grandmother to visit a tutorial course. She just got a smart phone (I don’t know why, some jerk at the AT&T store talked her into it and left her high & dry) and she has no idea how to use it. I’ve tried to help her, but I’m either a terrible teacher or she doesn’t like to be taught by me, because it’s not sticking. I’m definitely going to send her your article.

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