Dan Messer, aka the Cyberpunk Librarian, did a podcast recently called the "The Technogeneralist" http://cyberpunklibrarian.com/podcast/episode-18-the-technogeneralist/. In it he talks about "why it’s important to specialize in generalization". I have a Windows 7 computer, a Windows 8 mini laptop to teach with, a mac mini, a chromebook, a Raspberry Pi, a Samsung tablet and smartphone, an iPad and iPod touch, a Kindle Fire, a Nook HD and a digital camera. I also have different Linux boxes installed on VirtualBox on my Windows 7 computer. I also keep up with what is new and changing in all 3 operating systems. I also have a flashdrive with helpful portable apps. Why? Well, for one thing, I love technology and use these things personally quite a bit. But also, I need to do so for work. I use the computer a lot for answering reference questions and doing my work. I’m the one that teaches our computer/gadget classes. I also am the one that people come to if they have a question about the computers or their gadget. Our patrons want help with a wide range of gadgets and computers. So I have to keep up with the latest technology and software through social media, newspaper and magazine articles, etc. I also need to know how they work, how to use them, and how to troubleshoot if something goes wrong. So it helps to at least get my hands on the new devices or own one. Knowing a little about everything helps in other aspects of my job as well. I need to be able to answer all sorts of questions from legal, to medical, to job searching, to homework, to current events, to knowing about the best sellers and favorites in adult, teen, and kids fiction, non-fiction, music, and movies (and be able to make recommendations to patrons). I keep up with all of the things that we offer online as well as other libraries in the area. I also try to keep up with what other area libraries are doing to answer questions about that as well. I’ve been to Phoenix’s Mach 1 to see their cool STEM toys. I’ve been to Mesa’s ThinkSpot to see their set up and also see a 3d printer and Google Glass in action. I also will search Worldcat to find a book for a patron if we don’t have what they are looking for. I also have to be able to answer Circulation questions as well. I also can answer questions about the area around the library too (like where the closest bank or grocery store is) as well as what other programs other departments are doing or refer them to another department in the City if they need it. I also try to keep up with current events.
I am also what Knightwise calls a Slider. I can go from Windows to Mac to an Apple Device to an Android device pretty easily. And I can use the different types of apps on those computers and devices pretty easily as well. If there is something technological or otherwise I don’t know or someone I am helping wants to know I will try Googling it.