Monday, March 19, 2007

Pushing the tech: the long road to comfort

How do we get buy-in from administration and staff to pursue a technology initiative? Of all the services a library provides, why should technology take any precedence?

It seems that most libraries are slow to embrace and integrate technology. Part of the reason is underfunded and unsupported libraries. It is difficult to take the lead without a safety net. Nothing is worse than dedicating resources away from other parts of the library for technology and then having it blow up in your face. It can happen with anything new, but it seems with technology people are unnecessarily angry or afraid of technology. Just like math, everyone convinces themselves they are bad at it and the slightest mistake confirms that.

We need to stop worrying so much about technology and learn to play. Investigate the interests of your staff just as you would perform readers advisory. You will find an interest that can be enhanced by technology. Just like teaching someone to use a mouse through playing solitaire, the same can be done online. Social networking sites are cropping up left and right. There is bound to be one that meets anyone's needs. There are general ones, like myspace, and there are specific ones, like, and now you can just create your own social networking site through ning. Maybe there will be a rule that states every social networking site their user? The point is anyone can be convinced of the uses of technology if they are hooked into something they are interested in. Then they realize that they love the technology because of what they can do with it, then at that point there is the problem of pulling them away from it :)

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