Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Technology and Library Staff Buy-in: Update 1

In an earlier post I discussed the concept of how the creation of a technology group could help the process of fostering innovation.

Based on ideas gathered from others, my original concept was to create an informal group consisting of techies that would get together on a regular basis to brainstorm and play around in a sandbox. Any practical ideas would be communicated to anyone we felt would be interested. I discussed the idea to library administration and they where supportive.

The reality became that most of us already had so much on our plates (sound familiar?) that we couldn't find a good time to get together on a recurring basis. Therefore, an informal approach to such a group is challenging since "real" responsibilities take precident (much like ALA committee work).

Timing is everything. Upon returning from ALA our administration had a unexpected renewed interest in emerging/disruptive technology. I was approached with the idea of formalizing the group, which I jumped. I proposed moving ahead with my original concept, but having a formal charge which will make participation a part of the group members responsibilities.

One challenge is that the desire to create formal processes and procedures for the group was expressed. The concept presented was that the ideas and technologies would go to a larger leadership group for a formal vote on what to continue exploring.

Argh! I feel this approach is very problematic. One can not manage technology by majority rule. The technologies that would make it through such a process would not be those that are the most innovative. I stand by my viewpoint that such a group has to work outside normal processes.

I will make sure to post updates as things progress.

"Technology is like a fish. The longer it stays on the shelf the less desirable it becomes" - Andrew Heller Sphere: Related Content

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