So much time and energy is spent thinking about and planning how to acquire new software, new tools, and new skills, and it seems like there's never enough time in the day or week or even year to figure it all out.
Lately a lot of librarians have been telling us about a tool that staff and patrons alike could benefit from, and guess what? It's already in the library.
[Welcome Loren MccRory, our latest Guest Blogger! --sarah]
Today I was thinking about tech support and the "off the shelf" vs. "programming" dilemma that comes up from time to time in strategic planning brainstorming sessions with IT staff.
Today I attended a WebJunction webinar on TechAtlas, a tool both small and large libraries alike have used to create comprehensive technology plans. One terrific way TechAtlas can help is by guiding brainstorming sessions. The software asks key questions that can help anticipate future needs, and sometimes that's the hardest part.
But here's my question: for those of you who have created (or ARE creating) a technology plan--either with the help of TechAtlas or not--what happened BEFORE you sat down to craft it?
Loren MccRory, the director of Yuba County Library in Marysville, CA, recently shared her thoughts on how she and her staff have improved communication between the library and their county tech staff. She had so many good ideas, that we decided to write a Feature on her, due to be published before the end of the month (to read other Features, look here).
We're excited to announce that we just launched a monthly newsletter today! The newsletter will cover upcoming events, notice of new Cookbooks, interesting topics being discussed on the blog, and more*!
Please check out the newsletter, sign up to receive future ones, and as always, let us know what you think.
* "and more" is an open invitation for you to tell us what you'd like to see covered in the newsletter or any other topics you'd like to see the project tackle. Thanks so much for your input.
Perhaps you'd like to have a tech plan, but you haven't yet sat down to do it. Or maybe you're not so sure it would really make a difference. Whatever the case may be, we'd like to hear from you. Please share your experiences in a comment to this post, and also check out the latest poll on that topic, on our home page.
Share your experiences--they'll likely help someone else!
And if you're ready to start planning, check out TechAtlas today.
When I was traveling around Northern California on the Internet Archive bookmobile, I had the opportunity to sit down with Eric Brooks, the lone technical support person at the Placer County Library. One of the many conversations we shared was around how he felt technical support personnel should either be mandated to work at a computer lab while in school, or they should pick up hours working a customer service job, like retail.