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Everyone can use technology

Barbara Krueger shows off multiple forms of tablets available for Somerset library goers to borrow and learn on Friday, Sept. 13, at the Somerset Public Library. (Photo by Jordan Willi)

Throughout her life, Barbara Krueger has spent a lot of time inside of libraries, but over the last few years, she has been spending more and more time there while she helps library visitors with their computer and technology problems.

"It all started in Deer Park where I would use the library a lot," Krueger said. "They had gotten a new director, Pat Waterman, and we were talking about technology and about the library wanting to get an iPad. So, from there we started talking about possibly putting together some Facebook classes and then it just evolved into doing a monthly tech time."

Despite no formal training in technology or computers, Krueger always had an interest in the new devices and advancements in technology that she was witnessing as she grew older. Her education in technology came while she was working as a temporary receptionist at a small venture capital company in the Twin Cities.

Krueger made the jump from receptionist to the IT department when the CFO of the company approached her with the opportunity to work with the computers and new technology that the company used on a day-to-day basis.

"The company had an outside tech company who would do the heavy technical work, but since we were growing as a company, we always had new computers coming in that needed work," Krueger said. "I would work with them and I had an affinity for them and I like I said, I had an interest in it, so it just started to grow from there."

Since her commute to the cities took her through Somerset everyday, Krueger spent a lot of time at the Somerset Public Library and that is when she got the idea to continue helping people with their technology problems in Somerset.

"When I commuted to the cities for work, Somerset was my main library," Krueger said, "So I stopped in one day and asked if they would be interested in doing something similar to what I was doing at the Deer Park Library. They said yes, so we set up some Facebook classes and some tech times."

The company Krueger worked at in the cities closed four years ago, forcing Krueger to look rethink her life and find a new way to make a living.

"When the company closed, I was like 'So, now what do I do?,'" Krueger said. "I was doing a little bit of this technology stuff at that point, but people would keep asking me for help. My main goal now as part of my business (Krueger Solutions) is to help people feel comfortable with their new devices because they made the investment in them."

Even though Krueger went into business for herself in 2011, she continued to go back to area libraries, including Somerset, Roberts, Baldwin, Deer Park and Ellsworth, to teach visitors how to use their new devices as well as the ins and outs of social media, such as Facebook or Pinterest.

"I love those aha moments when somebody who has been struggling with something finally gets it and go 'Oh OK,'" Krueger said. "I am thrilled when people come to me and tell them they figured out something and that I'm able to help them out with that. Hearing people say that they are finally comfortable or have become proficient at something also makes me really happy.

"I'm an information person. I have been forever."

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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