This month, Rachel and I cowrote a piece on sites where you can get help with technology, including PayITForward:
Born out of Ann Arbor (Mich.) District Library’s recent Library 2.0 “Library Camp,” Pay “IT” Forward is the brainchild of Scan Robinson, IT manager at the Allen County (Ind.) Public Library. The wiki-based site, built from Web pages that any registered member can edit with just a few simple commands, lists a clearinghouse of public library IT professionals who offer their expertise in all things IT. (As of this writing, the site is still in beta, but is taking shape each day.)
Browsing the list of library professionals from the U.S. and Canada, you’ll find the contact information and specialties for each. For example, if someone desperately needs help configuring and starting an instant messaging reference service (see “FASTER IM” in the April 2006 “Tech Tips” for more), he or she can call on any number of library professionals who list IM as a specialty.
What’s the catch? If you get help from this service, you are asked to then please add your own name and specialty to the list–and pay “IT” forward! A “Hall of Fame” section provides a place to recognize those who have helped you move “IT” forward in your own institution.