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Humber Libraries: The pursuit of enhancing staff skills with the help of a tech trio

By Alexandra Tome

image of a screen with multiple people on a Teams callWith the rapid pivot to working from home in 2020, Humber Libraries staff, like many other libraries, were faced with having to not only adjust to a new workplace dynamic but the need to quickly adapt to new technology and software. In response, Humber Libraries created the “Tech Trio,” a group of tech-savvy team members (Amanda van Mierlo, Stefanie Read, and Alexandra Tome), with a mission to support staff in enhancing their tech skills. Initially envisioned by Dijana Kladnjakovic (Manager, Learning Resources) as a work from home transitioning initiative, the Tech Trio were allotted dedicated time by the management team to meet with each library staff member to answer tech-related questions and to provide a tour of Microsoft 365 Products, including Microsoft Teams. As Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 products quickly started to develop and change to support workplaces with online productivity, the Tech Trio quickly realized that more time was needed.

To build on the 1-hour one on one meetings, the Tech Trio developed a variety of resources to support staff tech skills development over time.

Tech Tip Tuesday

“Tech Tip Tuesday” messages provide regular updates and tips that cover a variety of topics, from tips on how to use basic keyboard shortcuts, to more complicated tasks such as recording presentations and cleaning laptop fans.

Standalone Sessions

Fun standalone sessions included “Marie Kondo Your Files,” Tech Skills Bingo, Tech Trivia, a Microsoft OneDrive Introduction and tour, an overview of how to avoid Phishing Scams, and workshops on Online Etiquette as well as Best Practices for working from home.

Drop-in Help Hours

Drop-in help hours were offered, but over time it was clear the team enjoyed and benefited more from the themed sessions.

Support Group in Microsoft Teams

Most importantly, we created a dedicated Tech Trio Support Group in Microsoft Teams, harnessing the software that has become our daily ‘hub’ while working from home. In the Tech Trio Support group, the team can post questions that enable others to see and/or contribute to discussions. In my opinion, this is the best part of the Tech Trio initiative as it helped to create a community of support among the staff. In doing so, we created a safe space where the entire library team can troubleshoot together. There is nothing to be ashamed of when asking for help because we all have technology issues. Tech issues and questions are no longer solved by quietly asking the colleague next to you, but by crowdsourcing solutions with the team and facilitating a collective learning opportunity at the same time.

Over a year later, we have seen tremendous growth across the Humber Libraries team –everyone has learned new things – myself included! I am so proud of my colleagues for dedicating time to learn new skills, and I am very appreciative of the support management provided to enable this transformation.

Alexandra Tome is a library technician at Mount Allison University Libraries and Archives. She can be reached at

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