Exercise 8: Part 1 – Modern Communication

We live in a world that’s in constant communication. Think about how many conversations you’ve had today—with family, friends, co-workers, patrons, vendors… No matter where you work in our library system, you’ve surely talked to someone at some point about something! Now, think about how you had that conversation. Was it in person? Did they send you an e-mail? Maybe it was a phone call or text.

We live in a world that’s in constant communication, and the ways in which we communicate are constantly changing as well. Many of us are aware of new telecommunication abilities, such as a webcam on a computer or a camera phone. We can use technologies such as Skype (a computer program available for various operating systems) or FaceTime (an Apple-specific technology used on iPhones, iPads, Macbooks, etc.) to connect with people within seconds regardless of where they are located!

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These developments all have their own advantages and disadvantages, but in the end, they allow us (and our patrons) to communicate easily, effectively, and efficiently. The only problem is…we need to know how to use these various technologies so that:

  • we (SAPL staff) can use them internally to communicate with one another
  • patrons can ask us for help when using them

Now, of course, we don’t need to be complete experts on every telecommunication device that’s available. It’d be impossible to always be on top of every single new software or update that comes out because, hey, we’ve all have other duties too, right? And often, these technologies “fail” for reasons beyond our control—maybe the recipient of the call isn’t online at the time, maybe the WiFi signal isn’t strong enough to make a good and clear connection, maybe the patron hasn’t even made an account yet…… If our car doesn’t start on the first try, we’ve learned to just try again’-

Sometimes we can easily fix these issues, but sometimes they simply extend beyond the scope of services. Luckily, we’re all pretty smart (that’s why we work at SAPL!) and we can at least be aware of common and potential setbacks so that we can prepare ourselves to assist patrons with questions and troubleshoot errors—or at the very least, lead patrons towards a solution.


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