Training on Reference Roving and Friends of the Library

I was at Pitkin County Library on President’s Day training staff there on Reference Roving, a subject I’m passionate about as there are so many unserved users in the library who are too timid to disturb us with their questions. 

The PCL staff are a very welcoming group of people with a lovely library.

Pitkin County Library in Aspen

(and it being Aspen, they even have a view of the ski slopes from the library!)

Ski slope

They seemed really excited to become even more proactive about soliciting questions from confused users in the stacks.

One question they did have though was how to help users who want to do something complicated on the computer, but don’t know how to use one. They do have computer classes they can refer people to, but those cost money, and staff just don’t have the time to do these computer tasks for the patrons. I mentioned that at Douglas County Libraries, we had some great volunteers that would make appointments with people to train them on computers, and then I came across a study that talked about older Americans who retire to rural areas and are a huge help in their new towns.  Have any of you started using seniors to do computer tasks for your patrons or help alleviate the burden of teaching users how to get on the web?  How has that worked for you?

By the way, I realized that while I’ve mentioned the Friends of the Library training I did in Utah last summer, I never linked to it, so now I have 🙂

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