I have worked at several libraries.

Austin, who joined the Library in 2013 as a Digital Media Specialist, helps patrons to become digitally literate and provides them with technology skills necessary for the modern world. He was instrumental in developing the Edge—where he still conducts many workshops—but also works with adults in the Hub and even our youngest patrons in the Trove. He is well known for his Drop-In Computer Help sessions. Austin has a master’s in education, is a certified Social Studies teacher, and earned an A+ (Plus) Certification from CompTIA IT Industry & Association.
What’s a digital media specialist?
I look at a Digital Media Specialist as someone who is not only an expert in all areas of computer-related technology, whether it is hardware knowledge or network troubleshooting, but one who is also able to relay that information to patrons and staff in an effective way. I strive to meet this ideal, and it means constantly learning!
What do you enjoy most about your work?
My favorite part of working at the library is the people. I love the daily interactions with patrons, of all ages, and staff. Libraries are a great place of learning and fun, and I consider myself a lucky person to be in such a position.
What happens during Drop-in Computer Help?
I run a frequent program called “Drop-in Computer Help,” in which patrons (and sometimes staff) bring in whatever technical problem or challenge they have at the moment, and I try to help them with it. It is a group setting but each person gets individual attention. The issues patrons bring to the event range from email login troubleshooting to laptop optimization. My motto for each session is “no matter what happens, you will leave in better shape than you arrived.”
I see you have a new program, Social Media 101. Why did you develop this?
I recently became aware that many patrons at the library are unfamiliar with the countless social media outlets available these days and would like help. As I spend a great deal of time assisting teenagers in the “Edge” teen room, I am up to speed with most of them, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and can shed light on the layered medium. Did you know that one hundred hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute?
What new technology are you learning now?
The newest digital skill I am learning at the moment is application development for Virtual Reality (VR) systems. The library has two of the major VR headsets available, and I am able to test the technology and teach patrons how they can too! Check our library calendar to see what classes are coming up. There is always something new to learn.

 

Austin Olney is a Digital Media Specialist at the White Plains Public Library, teaching teenagers to be digitally literate and providing them with technology skills necessary for the modern world. Using the library’s teen space as a backdrop, he presents students with a hands-on approach. Receiving his Master’s Degree of Science in Education from SUNY Cortland in 2011, he gained a New York State Social Studies teaching certification and recently an A+ (Plus) Certification from CompTIA IT Industry & Association. Austin has experience teaching in a variety of educational institutions, and enjoys applying advanced technology skills to actively engage students with diverse backgrounds and learning styles.

Résumé

About Austin

Austin, who joined the White Plains Public Library in 2013 as a Digital Media Specialist, helps patrons to become digitally literate and provides them with technology skills necessary for the modern world. He was instrumental in developing the Edge—where he still conducts many workshops—but also works with adults in the Hub and even our youngest patrons in the Trove. He is well known for his Drop-In Computer Help sessions. Austin has a master’s in education, is a certified Social Studies teacher, and earned an A+ (Plus) Certification from CompTIA IT Industry & Association.

Availability

Hire him here.

Experience

Digital Media Specialist at the White Plains Public Library in White Plains, NY since 2013.

Freelance Teacher at a variety of libraries.

Staff Trainer at a variety of institutions, from Southern B.O.C.E.S

Adjunct Professor of History at Mohawk Valley Community College from 2012-2013.

Affiliations

Member of Youth Services Advisory Group. http://wikis.westchesterlibraries.org/childrens/?page_id=822

Member of F.I.L.M. roundtable within the New York Library Association (NYLA). https://www.nyla.org/max/4DCGI/cms/review.html?Action=CMS_Document&DocID=347&MenuKey=film