Emerging Technologies Officer

“I’m a gadget guy. I love being able to play with all the different technologies and use them to create solutions to everyday problems.”

— Gareth Francis

Q: Where did you go to school?

James Nash State High School, Gympie

Q: Which were your favourite subjects in high school?

Home Economics and Drama

Q: What further study/qualifications did you complete after high school?

Bachelor of Business (Marketing)Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education (Business and ICT teaching areas).

Q: What is the name of your STEM career?

Emerging Technologies

Q: What attracted you to this STEM career?

Libraries are places of life-long learning and are constantly evolving with new technologies. I loved the idea of being involved in that evolution and bringing hands-on STEM learning to people of all ages.

Q: What is some of the typical work you do in this career?

My role is Emerging Technologies Officer for Gympie Regional Libraries. As well as traditional library duties (such as assisting people to borrow book and providing information), I also run the Gympie Library Makerspace. This space is open to all to give people hands-on experience with technologies that are becoming more and more important in the world.

The Makerspace also encourages problem solving and collaboration with like-minded individuals. I teach people how to use 3D printers, VR, Drones, Sewing Machines, Audio/Video/Photo editing, Green Screen and Robotics. I visit schools and other community groups and teach them coding, robotics and drones. I also deliver First Five Forever Storytime sessions and run STEM-based Tinker Table activities. And in any spare time I have, I maintain the library’s computers and systems.

Q: What do you love about your job?

I’m a gadget guy. I love being able to play with all the different technologies and using them to create solutions to everyday problems. I love seeing how excited people get when they get to experience technologies that they previously had only heard about. Libraries are places of learning for everyone, not just our patrons.

I’m constantly learning too. I had never used a 3D printer before the Makerspace was built and now I can not only use them, but can troubleshoot and repair them when things go wrong…well, most of the time 🙂

Try and find a real-life application for anything you’re learning. It makes the process much more interesting and you will often end up with something useful.

Gareth francis