This article was updated from a 2009 piece, written by Chris Peters for TechSoup for Libraries (formerly the MaintainIT Project). This effort was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to gather and distribute stories around maintaining and supporting public computers in libraries.
This article is the second one in a two-part series. The first addresses online resources, and this segment discusses offline resources.
Whether you're looking to develop new skills, satisfy your technical curiosity, or solve day-to-day technology problems at your nonprofit or library, the offline resources discussed in this article will help. They include creating a testing or learning environment, networking, classroom-based training, conferences, and print resources like books and magazines.
Most folks in IT (even accidental techies) have at least one test computer. Some organizations have dedicated testing environments. But part-time, accidental techies with small budgets often have to test software on their everyday work computer.
Here are several recommendations for testing software safely:
Much of our communication and information-seeking occurs online these days. However, there's still something unique and irreplaceable about face-to-face interaction. The suggestions in this section focus on ways to learn about technology with (and from) others:
The design and readability of technology manuals have improved over the years, so don't worry that you're in for a deadly boring read.
Most newspapers and magazines are available online, but the print edition certainly isn't dead.
Like professional networking and public speaking, the ability to conduct research, find answers, and educate yourself about new topics are important skills to maintaining your personal growth and the success of your organization. We hope these resources will help provide you with a starting point with which to build your expertise.
Image: Library, Shutterstock
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