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.
Here at MaintainIT, we hear similar stories from a host of libraries, and many times the size of the library doesn't make a lick of a difference. That was the case when Thomas Edelblute, from the Anaheim Public Library shared how tech support personnel located at the central library are contacted at a higher rate for issues at the headquarters than at the branches for the same issue. He shared:
Some of us from the MaintainIT Project will be braving the Minnesota weather to attend PLA next month. It should also be mentioned that some of us have spent too much time on the west coast, thus the word "brave" will not be taken lightly.
Much of what we learn from public libraries can be described as "successes" or "best practices" or "hip hip hooray, it went well!" But so much can be learned from the things we don't really want to brag about, the challenges, the stuff we "should've known," and the "oops!"
Here's where you come in.
Last week we had the distinct pleasure of getting together with our steering committee to share where we've been and where we're going. What an honor to have such a smart bunch guiding our work!
We're pleased as punch to announce the latest Cookbook, available FREE, here:
Seems like everyone we talk to has a story about communication between techies and staff. Here are a few of the latest...
Eric Brooks, from Placer County Library in Auburn, CA is the system-wide techie department of one:
"Some people think, ‘I don't know anything about computers,’ and they just kind of clam up when they want to talk about them. And you try to set them at ease."
Becky Heil, from Dubuque County Library in Farley, IA said:
If you haven't yet seen Louise Alcorn's wireless checklist, check it out now, and please... steal it! If you have a copy of the December issue of American Libraries magazine, it's reprinted on page 29.
And hip, hip, hooray that Louise's wise words can reach more people! Louise is a marvel, and we're always happy to share her thoughts, and pleased as punch that American Libraries thought so too. Nice work, Louise!
Are you driving hours to complete scheduled computer maintenance and wish you could be beamed there instead, like in Star Trek? The solution of remote access is no transporter, but will help you get the job done without leaving your desk.
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