Leading Communities Through Info Technologies
Amen, amen, a thousand times, amen to Aaron's lucid, detailed post on this subject (via Jenny). There must be something in the air -- I was saying the exact same thing at the blogging & RSS class I taught two weeks ago. From now til a long time from now (I'm thinking 10-15 years at least), libraries and librarians are going to have to be at the forefront of not just adopting new technologies and making them available to our user. We have to go several steps better. We need to adopt and develop expertise in those technologies so we can help our users become expert in using them, themselves.
Aaron's examples of what his library is doing are great. Here are few more:
Don't just make sure your computers have flash drive-friendly USB ports. Teach your patrons how to protect the data they store on their flash drives. If you like to think big, offer to sell smaller flash drives in your tech center.
If your library is going to offer downloadable audiobooks through Netlibrary or a similar service, hold in-library classes, in public areas (i.e., not tucked away in a small room somewhere, but on the main floor of the library), on how the service works. Give your patrons a soup-to-nuts, hands-on presentation on how to search for titles, how to download them, how to share them, how to activate the license, and how to renew them. And then encourage them to download the audiobooks of their choice right there, so you can troubleshoot, if need be.
There's so much to be done in this area, and as Aaron savvily points out, it's great PR for your library.