Windows 8: To upgrade or not to upgrade, that is the question.

  1. Do your research first.  Read articles and documents and watch videos to inform your decision.

    1. The Tech Soup Blog 
    2. The Tech Soup Learning Center
    3. Microsoft’s webpage
  2. Consult with your library, city, or county IT.  He or she should be on hand when you run the Upgrade Assistant and available to make decisions before, during and after the upgrade.
  3. Start small.  Upgrade one computer – preferably a touchscreen, if you have one. 
    1. This will give you an opportunity to try it out
    2. This will also give staff an opportunity to get familiar with the new operating system.
    3. You will have an opportunity to see how well your current apps and programs transfer to the new system, and troubleshoot any issues that arise.
    4. Introduce patrons to the new operating system
  4. Set up different user profiles on the new system and experiment with customizations.
  5. Test your library specific programs, especially DeepFreeze and EnvisionWare.


  • Newest operating system available for Windows systems
  • New Microsoft computers will be sold with this operating system
  • Tech Soup is currently offering Windows 8 Upgrades for $12.00
  • Great for use with Touchscreen computers
  • When you upgrade an existing Windows program to Windows 8 an Upgrade Assistant first checks your system to see if your computer meets the upgrade requirements
  • The Upgrade Assistant also tells you which programs will not transfer and alerts you to any potential problems
  • The operating system is fairly easy to use
  • You can switch between using the new “Tiles” start menu and the more traditional desktop menus
  • The Tiles Start menu is very customizable for different users
  • All of your favorites – websites, applications, and programs – can be saved as a Tile on the start page.


  • Not all programs and applications are supported in Windows 8
  • The Upgrade Assistant may not be able to list all of the programs that will not transfer – this seems to be in the test mode currently.  Just because it is not listed as a problem, does not mean it won’t be a problem
  • Problem programs may need to be uninstalled from the computer before beginning the  upgrade process
  • Some problem programs are usable, but only from the traditional desktop, this requires switching to the desktop view to see some videos or former applications.
  • Some menus are hard to access with a mouse, because this operating system was designed for touchscreens. The scroll bar is sometimes hidden by a menu, which would not be a problem on a touchscreen, where you would just swipe to scroll
  • It takes an hour or more to upgrade one computer
  • A new system will be confusing at first and takes some time to learn



Fall Workshop Special Session

Fall Workshop 2012 is right around the corner.  This year we have a special session planned on Saturday night before the official Fall Workshop begins on Sunday.  Please consider arriving Saturday evening so you can you can hear our guest speaker, Michael Porter.  Click the link below for complete details.

Library Futurist Event

Highlights from the Field, April 2012

  • Butte Silver Bow Public Library launched its new “Technology S.O.S” program, promoting it in      newspapers, radio, television, the web, and social networking sites.
  • Flathead County Library loaned equipment to nonprofit groups, reaching 50 participants.
  • Phillips County Library held a BTOP Open House and Gadget Training with 22 participants.
  • Rosebud County Library attended a Community Collaboration workshop, which led to new partnerships and project ideas including: the Parents Teachers Students  Association, the Human Resources Department, Public Health, the Sheriff’s Department, and the City and County Planners.
  • Darby Community Public Library led an off-site HomeworkMT orientation with a 4th grade class. They passed out thumbdrives afterwards.  The library also called Missoula Public Library to compare computer programs offered on public computers, which led to them adding iTunes, Picassa and Adobe Creator.
  • The Browning Branch Library held a “Tame the Wild, Wild Web” Open House.  They promoted BTOP computers, laptops, and HomeworkMT.  One parent was especially excited as the information was in a better format for her ADD child.
  • Broadwater School and Community Library hosted a presentation from staff from Fish, Wildlife and Parks using BTOP equipment.
  • Lewis and Clark Library had 206 laptop check-outs in one month alone!  Having printing capabilities for the laptop has been a big plus.
  • Great falls Public Library uses Facebook and Twitter to promote library services, including technology workshops.
  • Glasgow City-county Library uses newspaper and radio ads to promote its Tech Nite programs.
  • Parmly Billings’s teen Librarian participated in a summer job career fair in partnership with Montana Job Service.  She brought books on resumes, career information and pamphlets about HomeworkMT an online tool which includes resume help.  160 teenagers attended the event which was held at the MSU-Billings College of Technology.  Each month, the Assistant Director tapes “The Library Show”, a 1/2 hour interview show about Library activities that airs on Community 7, the Billings local community TV channel.  The show airs twice a week.
  • Sidney-Richland County Library used Facebook and the web to advertise a Demo Day & E-reader Petting Zoo in April.
  • Lincoln County Public Library partnered with Kootenai Job Services. Clients used the library’s computers for their emergency unemployment program.
  • Chouteau County Library held an open house during National Library Week.
  • Livingston-Park County Public Library had 82 laptop users in one month alone! They also held an open house, which included a technology petting zoo provided by Lauren McMullen. One commissioner attended the event.
  • Quote from Laurel Public Library patron: “I am so grateful to have the library to come to when I need help with computer training or troubleshooting.”
  • Bozeman Public Library’s new scanner has been used 18 times in less than one month. They are also promoting the availability of laptops with signs throughout the library; they had 270 laptop checkouts in one month alone!