[Libs-Or] Technology Assistance - How much is too much?

Barratt Miller BMiller at crooklib.org
Wed Jan 6 16:19:09 PST 2016

At Crook County Library, we have a 15-minute rule for all reference and technology questions. If the problem can’t be solved in the time limit or it’s obviously something we don’t have the ability to solve, we refer the patron to tech support for their particular device.
From: Libs-Or [mailto:libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] On Behalf Of Kirsten Brodbeck-Kenney
Sent: Wednesday, January 06, 2016 4:05 PM
To: libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us
Subject: Re: [Libs-Or] Technology Assistance - How much is too much?

This is essentially our policy, as well. We also have a policy that we don't handle patrons' devices; we'll verbally walk them through the process, but we don't touch anything.

Kirsten Brodbeck-Kenney, MLIS
Library Director
Driftwood Public Library
801 SW Hwy 101, #201
Lincoln City, OR 97367
541-996-1251 (desk)
541-996-1262 (fax)

>>> "Dunham, Charles" <Charles.Dunham at corvallisoregon.gov<mailto:Charles.Dunham at corvallisoregon.gov>> 1/6/2016 3:54 PM >>>
We only offer technology help related to library services. We stray over the line sometimes, but this policy prevents us from going down a troubleshooting black hole.

Charles Dunham
541 766-6965
Adult Services Librarian
Corvallis-Benton County Public Library<http://cbcpl.net/>

From: Libs-Or [mailto:libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] On Behalf Of Aaron Novinger
Sent: Wednesday, January 06, 2016 3:48 PM
To: libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us<mailto:libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us>
Subject: [Libs-Or] Technology Assistance - How much is too much?


When helping patrons with technology, where do you draw the line? Does your library have a policy, or does each staff member set their own limits?

Showing them how to download and use e-book apps is one thing, but what about things like...

installing free software, such as Adobe reader or an anti-virus?
walking them through system updates?
transferring pics from phone/tablet to cloud storage?

We're trying to teach them to fish, and there is a reason they aren't going to Geek Squad; however, complaints and perhaps liability issues could surface when working with patrons on their devices.

Do you set time limits, tell the patron you're "hands-off" prior to helping them, and is the service they receive consistent from staff member to staff member?

Looking forward to any advice you have.

Thank you,

Aaron K. Novinger, SLIM '14
Emporia State University, Oregon Campus
anovinge at g.emporia.edu<mailto:anovinge at g.emporia.edu>

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