fifty ways to lose your techie librarians…

I am sorry I was busy with houseguests this weekend while a lot of these posts hit the blogosphere but I have to say I’ve found myself nodding in agreement to a lot of them. The topic is tech staff and the loosely phrased question was: how do I lose my tech staff at the library? Here are some answers

Ten Ways to Lose Your Techie Librarians from Michael Stephens
How to Lose your Tech People by Karen Schneider
Ten Ways to Lose Your Techie Librarians by Sarah Houghton
Fifty Ways to Lose Your Techies (actually six) by Dorothea Salo

I have a few more for my own personal list. Yes I used to be a semi-technical person in a non-technical library.

  • Make sure you never give them any sort of real ownership of tech projects; once everyone signs off, it’s as if everyone built it.
  • Involve them only tangentially in your technology plan as a “special guest” and not someone who should be driving the technology directions.
  • Criticize them for not training up everyone to wizard-level skills in the new item. Make sure that you blame any failure of staff to use and learn technology on the tech librarian directly.
  • Refuse to learn the new tools, not directly, but indirectly by simply ignoring them.
  • Let them build the technological tools inside the library but continue to make all the technology purchasing decisions elsewhere in the hierarchy without consulting them.
  • When they have a new web-based tool to roll-out make sure you test them on the computers in the basement that are running seven year old browsers and then make “tut tut” noises if the web content doesn’t look identical to how it looks upstairs. Ignore their explanations.
  • Call the Gates Foundation just to check if it’s okay if they install Firefox on the Gates computers.
  • Give them a workstation that is shared with other staff members in a room where they are frequently interrupted. Stare at their screen often and try to puzzle out what they are working on, or comment that it doesn’t look like work.
  • Don’t give frontline staff the password to do basic maintenance and troubleshooting of public computers and insist that they call the tech staff to reboot or log in to computers. If tech staff is on vacation or otherwise unavailable, hang an Out of Order sign on the computer and be surly when the tech staff returns. If the tech librarian wants to give the passwords out to more people, thwart them. If they want to train staff on maintenance of the computers, disallow it.
  • Disallow computerization of any forms or tallysheets (though you might want to straighten out your skewed and fuzzy photocopies of last decades ILL forms so they’ll stop trying)
  • Don’t let them buy any books. Don’t let them teach any classes. Don’t let the patrons get attached to them. Don’t let them give you the old “best practices” flimflam.

This is only sort of intended to be amusing.

8 Responses to “fifty ways to lose your techie librarians…”

  1. Laurie the Librarian's Blog Says:

    Ways to Lose your Techie Librarian

    You know how sometimes certain topics touch a nerve and gets everyone talking?

  2. Free Range Librarian Says:

    How To Lose Your Tech People

    Third update: Jessamyn weighs in. Second update: Caveat Lector weighs in and brings up both the Gender Thang and those absurd job ads that cram twenty people into one description. Right on, girlfriend! I too add that MPOW has none…

  3. Lissa Says:

    Gates computers…please, can we shoot those that haven’t died yet? Pour super glue in their floppy drives? Go all BOFH on their power supplies?

  4. What I Learned Today… » Blog Archive » Ten Ways to Lose Your Techie Librarians Says:

    [...] Be sure to read these other additions to the list: Free Range Librarian, librarian.net and Caveat Lector [...]

  5. Librarian Avengers » Digital Preservation Panel at SXSWi Says:

    [...] And on that note, some great lists on the topic of How to Lose Your Techie Librarians. [...]

  6. sillybean » Fifty ways to lose your techies Says:

    [...] Fifty ways to lose your techies—written for/about librarians, but oh so true in any context. 1:30 pm comment [...]

  7. Random Access Mazar » 10 Ways to Lose your Best People Says:

    [...] The meme of the moment: how to lose your “techie” librarians, started by Michael Stephens. I read through the posts by my esteemed colleagues Sherri, Dorothea (my evil twin!), Jessamyn, Karen, and Sarah, among others. Fascinating reading. These lists are a combination of a variety of things; good experiences turned inside out, bad experiences (personal and merely observed) laid bare, intreprations of the attitude of the profession as a whole, through the professional literature, certain high profile kerfuffles in librarianship (and their fallout), and the culminative impression we get from reading the daily stories from tech librarians around the world though the librarian blogosphere. I am reminded of how very lucky I am to work where I work, with the people I’m surrounded by. Reading through all those posts, and by writing my own list of what would turn me away, it’s clear that it’s all in the attitude. Have I mentioned lately how much I love my job? [...]

  8. » Poke Your Tech Staff With Sticks, and other ideas Says:

    [...] What a difference a year makes? Jessamyn was among those sharing her stories of how technology and tech staff were often mistreated in libraries, but there’s a lot of technology in this year’s ALA program (including three competing programs on Saturday: The Ultimate Debate: Do Libraries Innovate, Social Software Showcase, and Transforming Your Library With Technology. [...]