What Library Administrators Need to Know About Technology

I blog in several places, almost as if I had never heard of the dangers of diluting one’s “brand”. But whatever, I’m already spread out and now I have to deal with it. So forgive me when I first send you off to another spot where I blog to read “The Top Ten Things Library Administrators Should Know About Technology”. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

I chose that location to blog about that topic since TechEssence.info is a site I created to provide “The essence of information technology for library decision-makers.” You will find a number of summary sheets on library technologies as well as other information that potentially would be of use to library managers. My only regret is not having enough time to keep it a frequently-updated site. But I digress.

So now that you’ve read the “ten things”, what do you think? Do any of them resonate with you? Would you argue against any of them? I ask, really wanting to know your opinion. This is a conversation we really must have to help us all move forward more effectively. Also, I have it on good authority (being on the planning committee) that the upcoming Digital Library Federation Fall Forum, still on for November 11-13 in Long Beach, California, will be focused on addressing an important topic that ties in well with my “ten things”. More information will be coming soon.

Meanwhile, what do you think are some useful strategies to enable your organization to make the most effective use of technology? What are the barriers that prevent you from achieving your goals? Having laid them out on the table, then we can move on to addressing them, and become more successful in the process. And what’s not to like about that?

Roy Tennant works on projects related to improving the technological infrastructure of libraries, museums, and archives.

2 Comments on “What Library Administrators Need to Know About Technology”

  1. I was going to comment over there, but the account creation process is a bit long. I did request one just now.

    I guess from my perspective, I don’t view these types of decisions as technology decisions. I am sure there are some who say no to technology, but those often say no to everything. It’s just another tool to use and an administrator weighs whether he can use the tool or not.

    I am not sure the list is very helpful, but for a few points. Technology is getting cheaper and easier, true. It’s relative though. If you have a tight budget and staff uncomfortable with using the tool, or even if the tool will be useful, those weigh into the decision. I don’t see administrators seeing things as you have presented them, but maybe that’s just me.

    I see the entire list as a re-hash of concepts that have been used before and can be applied in a general view. Don’t be afraid of failure, don’t try to be perfect, are commonly used.

    Another piece would be staff buy-in. We can say don’t be afraid of failure, but when it fails, staff can get pretty frustrated, even angry. Furthermore, without buy-in it just looks like you are shoving things down their throats. Drowning the horse in trying to make him drink.

    9 and 10 I see as the most valuable. We need good project managers. Not many libraries have this position and often it goes to the same person who is technology oriented and is always called upon to make magic happen.

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