Ten Ways to Lose Your Techie Librarians (Updated)

On page 67 of the January/February Public Libraries magazine is one of the HOTTEST numbered lists I’ve read in a long time: “How to Lose Your Best People” is authored anonymously by “several seasoned librarians.” Points like “Nitpick the dress code – because socks are essential for good public service” are not only humorous but very telling in some libraries.

So with apologies to the Seasoned Anonymous Writers, let me offer up:

Ten Ways to Lose Your Techie Librarians

1. Dismiss blogs/wikis/RSS as just for the geeks not library users
2. Plan technology projects without involving them until the wheels are in motion/contracts are signed
3. Appoint a technophobe librarian to manage the techies
4. Allow barriers to exist that make it difficult for IT staff and librarians to plan and collaborate
5. Bog down their projects in red tape and approvals that take weeks or months to get
6. Send your seasoned librarians to conferences instead of mixing up seasoned folks & your techies to a variety of association and professional meetings, including tech-based conferences
7. Plan project timelines that extend so long the planned service or tech innovation is out of date before it launches
8. Pooh Pooh the idea of the Emerging Technology Committee, the library is doing just fine without it
9. Make your library Web site an afterthought not a “cyber branch” location
10. Always ensure that non-technical people make the important technical decisions
BONUS: Never Dream. Never innovate. Never think outside the Box.

UPDATE: Karen Schnedider weighs in with a seven point list as well! My favorite: “7. Do not expect non-technical staff to learn any technology skills whatsoever. It is perfectly reasonable for someone upgrading a server to run across the library to help someone put a bullet in Powerpoint”

OH! The LiB too! http://librarianinblack.typepad.com/librarianinblack/2006/03/ten_ways_to_los.html

Need some advice/insight? Try:

Including Your IT Department: High Dividends, Excellent Results from Michael Casey

From Tech to Tome by John Blyberg