Administrators vs. Technology

Somehow this post got lost in the drafts folder.  But since it’s an enduring topic, it’s still current. 🙂

A friend has some advice for library administrators:  The Top Ten Things Library Administrators Should Know About Technology.  It’s not a new subject, but it’s a topic that is being discussed openly more and more. 🙂  One gets the impression administrators are actually beginning to realize computer technology is not only not going to stand still, it is moving on at a dizzying pace that demands attention.

Now Roy Tennant is one of those icons in the library technology world who is worth listening to.  But technology geeks sometimes write in a language which makes the eyes of library administrators glaze over (been there, done that, got the T-shirt).  So I offer here a translation service for the first four items in Roy’s excellent post.

1. Technology isn’t as hard as you think it is.

The tools available for getting websites up and running are much easier than a few years ago, and it’s getting better each day.  Some things are still complicated (like writing software), but basic services don’t require that knowledge.

2. Technology gets easier all the time.

Installing special software used to be hard.  Today there are pre-packaged programs for complex software programs that make installation a snap.

3. Technology gets cheaper all the time.

Even if you pay a third party to store your web site and make it available on the Internet, the cost of what you can get today is much less than it was even a few years ago, and it keeps getting cheaper.

4. Maximize the effectiveness of your most costly technology investment — your people.

Hardware is cheap (all of it).  The expensive part of technology is knowledgeable staff.  Don’t make it harder for your expensive staff when the tools are so cheap by comparison.

The rest don’t need translating. 🙂

These really are points that need to be made again and again until administrators start feeling more comfortable with the technology side of library services.  The problem is, are any administrators listening?  Really listening?  Roy has a larger library audience than I have 🙂  Maybe there will be a few who will read and take heart, especially since LISnews posted it as news.

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