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.