On Controlling Your Technolust

I was happy to see Helene Blowers and a contingent from the Public Library of Charlotte Mecklenburg County at the South Carolina State Library program this week. Helene’s work with learning 2.0 as a free, open, “steal this idea” learning program for 2.0 tools should be adopted by any and all libraries that want to get a handle on the shift we’re riding. Helene posted about the TechExpress day…


…and notes my use of the word control:

“Librarian 2.0 controls Technolust” This quote was a part of Michael Stephens excellent presentation and although I very much agree with what he says about not just doing technology for sake of just doing something new, I found myself a little bothered by the word choice. Why? because the word “control” emulates the very “thing” that Library 2.0 isn’t. I know, I know … it ‘s only words right? But when you have so many librarians who are preconditioned to “control”, it’s hard to break the pattern. Personally, I love the word “empower” because that’s what I think Library 2.0 is really all about. But in the framework of Michael’s very valid point, I just can’t seem to come up with a better suggested substitution. Perhaps this is the positive balance to this point … Librarian 2.0 harnesses tools that empower users.

Hmmm..okay, how about this:

Balance your Technolust

Librarian 2.0 recognizes that technology works best for libraries when it’s implemented to meet a mission or a goal of the library or extend or improve a service. Tech worship, technolust and throwing the newest hottest sexy thing at library users without planning and forethought, without considering the user, is a more often than not a road toward failure, wasted funds and staff resources and bad internal and possibly external PR for the library.

The balance for me too is recognizing I have a pronounced gadget gene… but in library jobs, I can’t let that drive my decisions! Now, shall I order that new iPod?…. 🙂