From Reactive to Proactive: Tech Today and Post-COVID

Tuesday, 9/29/2020 - Wednesday, 9/30/2020
  • 10:00 AM-6:00 PM (Eastern)
  • 9:00 AM-5:00 PM (Central)
  • 8:00 AM-4:00 PM (Mountain)
  • 7:00 AM-3:00 PM (Pacific)

This e-Forum was presented on Tuesday, September 29 and Wednesday, September 30. View the summary of this e-Forum.

COVID-19 has rocked our world, and has placed us squarely in an ongoing “reactive mode.” While reacting is a natural response to our ever-changing situation, many of us haven’t had the opportunity to look ahead to a post-COVID library world, and start thinking strategically about what’s next.

In this Core e-Forum, moderators Carolyn Coulter and Carson Block will pose discussion questions designed to turn your reactive experiences into strategic ideas after COVID runs its course. Carolyn and Carson will receive moderation assistance from Liz Smith and Bonnie Nichols.

On day one, our topic centers on today. What is your immediate reaction to COVID and the current ongoing situation? What can technology help us do now?

On day two, our questions are focused on the future. What ongoing/permanent changes can technology help us achieve? For long term service changes, how can we better leverage technology to meet our challenges?

Learning Outcomes

In this e-Forum, attendees will explore:

  • assess and discuss their library’s service and technological responses to COVID-19.
  • apply what they’ve learned to create ideas for their library services and infrastructure when the public health threat of COVID has diminished

Who Should Attend

Library administrators, those responsible for technology development, and anyone else interested in applying tech solutions to new and ongoing challenges in our public library environment.


Carolyn Coulter: Over the course of 25-plus years in library service, Carolyn has had the privilege of working in various types of library organizations. She began her career at Gaylord Information Services (later Polaris). She later took a position at the Boston Public Library and served as the Applications Manager and eventually the Chief Technology Officer. From Boston, She moved to the Pikes Peak Library District in Colorado, where she held the position of Information and Virtual Services Officer, in charge of both the IT and Technical Services departments. She is now the Director of the PrairieCat, a multi-type library consortium in northern Illinois serving 136 member libraries.

Carson Block has lead & loved library technology efforts for more than 25 years. He's been called a "Geek who speaks English" and occasionally compared to Ferris Bueller and Calvin (and Hobbes). Carson is dead serious about the essential and positive community impacts of libraries and focuses his consulting practice on helping libraries increase their capacity to serve patrons. Carson is the author of Library Information Systems (with Joe Matthews; Libraries Unlimited 2019) and Managing Library Technology: A LITA Guide (Rowman & Littlefield 2017).

Elizabeth Smith is the Training and Outreach Coordinator at PrairieCat, a multi-type library consortium with 136 members. In her role, she coordinates the consortium’s online training platform so members can access self-paced and on-demand training. She also manages continuing education and engagement opportunities for the member libraries.

Bonnie Nichols is Carson Block’s assistant. She worked at the Poudre River Public Library District’s Circulation Department for almost 10 years. A book lover since childhood, her life has been meaningfully impacted by librarians and libraries from the very beginning. She remains a vocal advocate for libraries and the services they provide.




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Tech Requirements

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