For some tips and strategies on dealing with librarians, IT and this 2.0 world, don’t miss Karen Schneider’s most wonderful post at TechSource “IT & Sympathy.”
First, if they haven’t told you what they’re up to, sit down with your IT people and ask what their schedule is, and where your needs for new stuff fit in. It would be wise for IT to do this proactively, but they may not think this way, and you can help them get there. You may find out that IT has some pretty important stuff on the docket, pretty far down Maslow’s hierarchy, that you weren’t aware of because it’s not visible or sexy—from some essential upgrade to the network to disaster planning.
Second, do some IT planning on your own. New technology deserves a fair chance at succeeding, and you play a role in its success. Where do you want your department to be six, twelve, eighteen, or twenty-four months from now? Get it all out on paper, from the most fundamental (upgrade all computers in the public areas) to the most blue-sky (we’re going to open a library branch in Second Life and sell tee-shirts).
“To the librarian I once overheard saying, “It is my personal duty to make sure we have no typos on anything!” I must say: Don’t miss the forest for the trees, Dear Lady. Typos can be corrected, especially online, and focusing too much on those little details may lead to missing the big picture. You’re the one that staff may be e-mailing about, while they wait to launch the new wiki, you are still proofing the proposal for the wiki! A nimble organization can move quickly if not mired in proofing, re-proofing, and proofing one more time a policy change, FAQ, or other document. ”
Please zip over and read my post about Flickr at ALA TechSource.
I ask that you do not make any spur-of-the-moment, reactionary decisions, Flickr’ing Librarians! What I sincerely hope will not happen is the libraries and associations that have started using Flickr will abandon the site because they are scared… come on! Don’t let this type of e-mail campaign derail you. Look at the big picture of how this site and many others are used and can benefit your online presence. Let’s teach our users about the good and bad of online communities, BUT LET’S NOT just close the door and lock it!
Here are links to my two recent Techsource posts where a couple of innovators weigh in on using social software in libraries:
Chad Boeninger on BizWiki: http://www.techsource.ala.org/blog/2006/05/wikis-in-the-university-library.html
Margaret Lincoln on the Night Blog: http://www.techsource.ala.org/blog/2006/05/introducing-blogs-and-wikis-at-lakeview-high-school.html
At TechSource this week, I ponder the 2.0 Job and charge libraries and library schools to look at their offerings!
Good reading at ALA Techsource:
I think I need to say that THIS is OVERDUE!
It may be time for our profession to seriously reconsider the value of the traditional conference, where a conference planning committee asks for conference proposals twelve to eighteen months in advance of the conference. How can library and information conferences—gatherings, happenings, bashes, mashupcamps—better aid and abet quality growth in the library and information science ecosystem? I feel the urge to utter a manifesto coming on:
A conference should try to actually foster and facilitate the discipline, movement, or ecosystem it represents.
It should be as inclusive of that community as possible. Do everything you can to get the rank and file members, as well as the leaders, of your ecosystem to attend.
Let the registrants and attendees help decide on the content and speakers.
Consider a combo conference, where people can attend in-person or online.
Record the conference events, and make them available via the Web.
Mama, don’t let your conferences grow up to be cash cows.
I have a new post at TechSource, with some fascinating comments by Mary Ghikas from ALA:
Jenny and I will be with the ALA folks this afternoon for a special “Association 2.0″ version of the Roadshow.
And Jessamyn reports about the ALA Council Facebook! Woohoo!