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Director's Column

PLSJC Director Alan Hall writes a weekly column discussing library and community news, history, and other interesting subjects.

Tech Mobile to visit Jefferson County

By Alan Hall, Director, PLSJ
Publish Date - Sunday, March 8, 2015


Jefferson County residents will be treated this month to a visit from the “Tech Mobile” from the State Library of Ohio.


It is a large transit bus vehicle that can answer ANY technical question related to eBooks, eMagazines, and anything else e-related in today’s information marketplace.


The Mobile Technology Training Center is operated by the SEO Library Center located in Caldwell, Ohio and is making its rounds of Jefferson County libraries this month.


The vehicle is equipped with 10 personal computers, a digital projector, and a networked printer with a variety of tablets and phones for training purposes.


Take advantage of these stops, as the vehicle travels all across the State of Ohio and it may not return for another visit for some time.


The Tech Mobile visited the Adena and Dillonvale Libraries last week and here are the remaining visits to the county:


March 12 – Main Library, 10 am – Noon

March 12 – Toronto Branch, 2 pm – 4 pm


March 17 – Schiappa Branch, 10 am – 4 pm


March 20 – Brilliant Branch, 11 am – 1 pm

March 20 – Tiltonsville Branch, 3 pm – 5 pm


The operation of today’s technical devices has given those of us over age 50 a real challenge.  Using smart phones, computers, tablets, and the array of devices on the information market require skills that we didn’t use during our formal training years ago.


Some people use these devices without blinking an eye; others of us stare blankly at a screen without a clue of what to do.


I have the advantage of having a son who is an electrical and computer engineer, and he is always, well, usually receptive to questions from his father when I get stuck on some technical question.


I blame it all on “thought processes” that are not natural to our age group.


It is also a generational-thing, because when I think of times in the 1960s when my own father would ask me something “technical” and I would quickly answer and show him how to use something new at the time, just like my son does with me today.


I remember my father and his Underwood typewriter, which he had purchased when in Business College in 1937.  By the 1960s, he acquired a brand, new IBM Selectric Typewriter.  My mother suggested that I go to his office and “see if he needed some help with it.”


The keys were the same, but the functions and operations were totally different.  My poor father was lost, but I quickly trained him.


The same was true when we moved from dial telephones to push button pads.  My father did live into the era of cell phones, but died before texting became commonplace.  He muttered how they expected his big fingers would select those tiny buttons on a cell phone.


My own father, as an early teenager, instructed his father how to shift and clutch the new 1930 Model A Ford car which he had purchased.  The controls were completely different from the Model T that grandfather had learned to drive, always saying that the “durn thing” didn’t respond to “Whoa” like his trusty team of horses did.


So, don’t get frustrated with all these new devices that have been thrust upon us.  It is nothing new as each generation has to deal with such situations.


In addition to the visit from the Tech Mobile, our library system does classes for all kinds of devices, and if you have a special need, we have been known to sit with you one-on-one to provide instruction and help.