Library employees without technical training and experience often are put in the position of having to fix workplace technology, from copiers and scanning equipment to computers, software, and applications, and they don’t know where to start. And then add the challenges of the many new kinds of machines being introduced in makerspaces and for new library programming and services.

When I was a journeyman printer, I learned that I was good at fixing equipment because I was willing to ask questions and make mistakes. When I began working with computers, I discovered the same principles applied and are the backbone of repairing and maintaining less than perfect machinery or applications.

This session will include the following topics:
– What can go wrong: the 80/20 rule applies
– What NEVER to do
– Why obsessing about making back-ups is a good idea
– Preparing cheat sheets for common issues
– The importance of offline manuals and print work orders
– Playing with equipment while it’s still healthy
– Replicating mistakes
– Reasonable workarounds
– Mentors and hands-on training
– The problem with relying on experts
– Isolating variables and making better guesses
– Playing the wild card


Original broadcast September 11, 2019

Biography ~ Pat Wagner
Pat Wagner has been a trainer and consultant for libraries since 1978 using e-mail, platforms, and now social media to serve clients across the United States (and the solar system) who she has never met face-to-face.. She presents at state and national library conferences as well as working with libraries of all types from Alaska to Florida. She has been a frequent visitor to Florida libraries and was a facilitator for the Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute for several years. Pat focuses on skills needed to support better productivity and workplace relationships, from personnel issues to strategic planning. She is known for her practical and good-humored programs.