Keeping the Tech Wits Sharp

I’m not an IT person, nor do I have any certification in any computer technology. I’m not a Cisco Certified Microsoft MVP Apple Genius and I probably never will be because that stuff costs vast amounts of money that I could spend in far better ways.  Still, I’m what some people would call a “power user” and what others classify as a computer geek.

Working in Circulation means I’m working with computers all day and, given my love of technology, I’ve become the on site tech guy. I’ve got four self check-outs I need to keep running and a $350,000 self check-in and sorting machine that needs to say up. There are 35 public computers on the floor and 16 staff machines. When any one of those systems starts acting wonky, guess who gets called first?

So I try and stay on top of tech, which is actually a pretty futile activity, but I do what I can. I never claim to be an expert at anything, but I do know which buttons to poke and what to try to fix an ailing machine. Most of that comes from experience but a good deal comes from research and leisure reading. I actually enjoy sitting down and flipping through a computer or tech “how to” book. While I may never use some of the information I learn, you never know what’ll come in handy.

I’ve had a Goodreads account for a while now, but I never really used it too much. I’d mark books that I’m reading and then forget about it for a month until I went back to clear those books and list other books I’m reading. I think I’m going to use Goodreads more now to tag and review some of the books I’ve read instead of just marking, listing, rating, and moving on. I’ve read a lot of tech books, most of which aren’t even listed on Goodreads, but I have a pretty decent set of things I’m going through now. I just rated and reviewed the first tech book since I began this little quest. Go take a look if you have the interest.

I’d love to hear from my Gentle Readers if they have any library related tech books to recommend or if there was a specific tech book that you really enjoyed and/or learned something from. Heck, I’m game for anything… let’s see what others are reading. Just pop your noise in the comments.


  1. I can’t say enough good things about Peachpit Press. I’ve relied on their Visual QuickStart and Visual QuickPro series for years. Why?

    * Formatting – look up what you need to know in the index, go where you’re directed and you get syntax examples and step-by-step.

    * Price – at a time where the average computer book is $50-75, most of the Peachpit books are under $30. This enables me to keep my personal reference library up to date without decimating my savings every year.

  2. I like the O’Reilly series of books for tech. The amount and accuracy in them is impeccible. I also have recently checked out the newest in our collection, Linux For Dummies. They cover the basics and more in easy to understand formats.

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