State Library, local libraries offering “Gadget Menagerie” training

The Washington State Library is partnering with local libraries across the state providing “Gadget Menagerie” training on handheld devices for library staff. Library patrons and students will be provided similar training focused on the needs of the device user. About 40 locations and 70 sessions are scheduled for the Gadget Menagerie through July.

“This is another great example of the Washington State Library and our excellent local libraries providing helpful ‘real-world’ training to folks,” said Secretary of State Kim Wyman. “It’s a brave new world of technology, fun and helpful and scary to people who haven’t used all of these devices.” “We are very excited to be able to provide this training,” said State Librarian Rand Simmons. “These skills will benefit both library staff and those who wish to use the devices to access a whole array of useful library resources.”

Library staff will learn how various eReaders, tablets and other devices work. They will discover what these devices have in common, how they differ, and learn basic operating tips. Staff will learn basic troubleshooting and tips for helping patrons with their devices, including how to download books from the library.

The Gadget Menagerie will familiarize local library staff with the variety of devices available, allowing for staff to be more comfortable and skilled in helping library patrons.

Not all libraries are offering both types of training. The training is funded by the Washington State Library via the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).

Patrons and students may bring their own device or explore one from the Washington State Library. The menagerie, which includes (subject to availability) Kindles, Nooks, Galaxy Tablets, iPads, and Microsoft Surface plus a Chromebook, will be available to both library staff, and library patrons and students to explore.

For more information about the training program, contact the State Library’s Jennifer Fenton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (360) 570-5571. The Washington State Library is a division of the Office of Secretary of State.

Scheduled training dates for 2014: Sedro-Woolley Public Library, Jan. 10; Lincoln County Libraries-Davenport, Jan. 14; Lincoln County Library-Wilbur, Jan.15; Ritzville Public Library & Lincoln County Library-Port Hadlock, Jan.16; Mid-Columbia Library, Keewaydin Park Branch-Kennewick, Jan. 23; Gonzaga University Library-Spokane, Feb. 4-5; Richland Public Library, Feb. 10; Timberland Regional Library Service Center-Tumwater, Feb. 12; Sno-Isle Libraries-Sultan, Feb. 19; Everett Public Library, Feb. 20; Spokane County Libraries - two sessions, Feb. 25-26; Washington State University Library-Pullman, Feb. 27; Jefferson County Library, March 4; City University Library-Seattle, March 6; Shoreline Community College Library, March, 7; Fort Vancouver Regional Library-Vancouver, March 13; San Juan Library-Friday Harbor, March 18; Sno-Isle Libraries-Freeland, March 25; Sno-Isle Libraries-Oak Harbor, March 26; Sno-Isle Libraries-Lynnwood, April 2; Yakima Valley Library-Yakima, April 8-9; North Seattle Community College Library, April 10; Big Bend College Library-Moses Lake, April 14-15; North Central Regional Library System-Omak, April 16; North Central Regional Library System-Quincy, April 15; North Central Regional Library System-Wenatchee, April 17; Central Washington University Library-Ellensburg, April 22 (TBD); Ellensburg Public Library, April 22-23; Yakama Nation Tribal Library-Toppenish, April 24-25; Walla Walla University Library, May 7; Fort Vancouver Regional Library-Stevenson, May 13; Fort Vancouver Regional Library-White Salmon, May 14; Fort Vancouver Regional Library-Goldendale, May 15; Fort Vancouver Regional Library-Bickleton, May 15; Asotin County Library-Clarkston, May 21; Columbia County Rural Library District-Dayton, May 22; Ocean Shores Public Library, May 29; Northwest Indian College Library, Bellingham, June 17; Tacoma Community College Library, TBD; Washington Talking Book and Braille Library-Seattle, July 10.

January 17, 2014/WA Secretary of State News Release