It seems that one place where staff is just as underfunded as libraries is in IT support. How many times have you witnessed the "centralization" of IT and how it is more cost effecient? Well its not very effecient if there is not enough of them to provide basic support and maintenance, nor is it effecient if your staff know very little about computers and are required to work with them every day.
In a recent report in IT Week:
IT illiteracy undermines productivity
Firms are finally facing up to the shortage of tech-savvy amongst their workforce
James Murray, IT Week 19 Mar 2007
"A survey last year of over 74,000 employers from the Learning and Skills Council found that 13 percent of applicants across all vacancies where firms have identified skills shortages lack general IT user skills. Meanwhile, a recent study from government and employer-backed IT skills development body e-skills UK found that UK employers felt they needed to improve the IT skills of 7.6 million employees out of an IT-using workforce of 21.5 million.
"It is a major problem," said Martin Harvey director of IT user skills at e-skills UK. "We have evidence that those with the right IT skills for their role can save 40 minutes a day compared to those who are less adept. It may not sound a lot but when you add it up that means a huge amount of productivity is being lost.""
So what you gain in less IT staff you lose in an unskilled workforce struggling with just the basics of their computers.
I set up a Library Technology Handbook for my staff. I train them to solve 90% of the problems in the library. It's not IT's fault that they have to set things up and go, they get as much support as we do.
Anyway, if your library needs help, I have a stripped copy available here.