Sunday, November 25, 2007

Is Your Library Tech Staff Friendly?

The LibrarianInBlack provides a nice summary of Jenny Benevento's presentation at Internet Librarian 2007 discussing the problems of tech-savvy librarians leaving libraries. Jenny cautions that libraries need to be careful about keeping tech-savvy people in the profession. Some of the things that contribute to negative environments for techies in libraries include (my modifications/enhancement/creative liberties in italic):

  • Creating a organizational culture where technology and library staff are not put into a position where they can (have to) gain respect for each other's uniqueness
  • Adopt technology just because of the buzzword aspect. Make the implementation a high priority
  • Hop on Internet trends two years after they happened and 18 months after your technology person suggested them, rinse and repeat
  • Include the workplace luddite on all technology projects with the expectation that the individual will change or somehow assimilate the technology
  • Under resource and underpay your technology staff
  • Don't fund projects yet expect them to be important services
  • Tell techies that you want new technology, but reject all change that they suggest.
  • Don't make an effort to understand emerging technologies, but expect the techie to create, implement, and manage new services based on them.
  • Equate all technical knowledge--it's all interchangeable; all techies know everything. For example, desktop support staff can manage firewall issues.
  • Expect your techie to keep all staff up-to-date on emerging technologies and still investigate, implement, and maintain it.
  • Expect all tech requests to happen immediately
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