With the proliferation of mobile devices (smart phones, tablets, and wearables), it can be daunting if not impossible to remain in touch with everything that’s out there. This can prove intimidating for front line library staff when patrons come in with questions related to their devices. While you don’t have to have prior knowledge of a device in order to assist a patron with one, passing familiarity with what’s out there can greatly bolster your confidence when doing so. One easy and fun way to learn about the doodads your patrons are using is to host a Bring Your Own Device Day program at your library.
There are a few different types of BYOD programs, but what I’m referring to here is basically just a tech-heavy share and tell session, where anyone who wishes to brings in their latest or favorite gizmo. Each person has the opportunity to demonstrate how they use their device and explain why they like it. Afterwards, attendees can visit with and learn more from one another. Mobile devices are very personal technology in ways that few other things are. As a result, people get enthusiastic about them and love to show them off. While they do so, it’s an opportunity not just for everyone attending to discover what’s out there, but also for library staff to get informed while engaging their patrons. Of course, a BYOD program can also turn into a forum for demonstrating library resources available on mobile, like OverDrive and Zinio.