Anythinkers Learn About Emerging Technologies at TechFest 2009

Anythink touts itself as a place for customers to find their spark – whether that means learning a language, finding a new recipe or exploring new technologies. This philosophy isn’t restricted to just customers; staff are also encouraged to learn and explore at Anythink. At this year’s all-staff training day on Monday, Oct. 12, TechFest 2009, Anythinkers were able to do just that.

Held at the new Anythink Brighton, the purpose of TechFest 2009 was to explore emerging technologies as they relate to libraries. It was also a way for Anythinkers to see some of the technologies their customers are using on a daily basis. The day consisted of breakout sessions, where staff learned about everything from social networking to organizing their online life. Similar to the Anythink Brighton grand opening, a technology petting zoo was held for staff to play with Amazon Kindles, Sony e-Readers and the newest Apple gadgets; and a gaming extravaganza let staff play the newest video games so popular with their teen customers.

Library experts from throughout the country provided the keynote presentations. David Lee King, digital branch and services manager for Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, presented “Freak Out, Geek Out or Seek Out: Trends, Transformations and Change in Libraries.” He emphasized the importance of being all the places your customers are and the need for libraries to be forward-thinking when it comes to technology. Melissa Kiser, information technology librarian for Allen County Public Library, presented “Using Videos to Build Community,” discussing her weekly videos that tie happenings in the community with offerings available at the library.

Other guests included Matt Hamilton, innovation and technology manager for Boulder Public Library, who provided hands-on training on iPhones and iTouches; Susan Staples, IT manager, High Plains Library District, who helped create videos of staff who answered the question “What’s your favorite thing about Anythink?”; and Poudre River Public Library District’s IT director Carson Block, who hosted a break-out session about the Music Genome Project.

“TechFest 2009 is just one example of how we encourage personal development among our staff,” says Rangeview Library District director Pam Sandlian Smith. “Teaching our staff about emerging technologies helps them assist our customers, but also provides a spark for them to explore their own interests and gives them the confidence to use technologies they might not have considered before.”

To learn more about TechFest 2009 and its presenters, visit