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LIS-PUB-LIBS  March 2012

LIS-PUB-LIBS March 2012

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Subject:

Re: IT in the library

From:

Frances Hendrix <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Frances Hendrix <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 20 Mar 2012 19:34:50 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (36 lines)

Don't worry Amanda

Occasionally some topic sets us all off. I think your comment has alerted a lot of us to what librarians are not doing, and how unclear the role is. Also what little progress has been made in the last 10 plus years.

In every profession there are those who won't do, or have an excuse not to do.,. their lives and job must be very dull and unrewarding.

Seems to me you should be looking for a more challenging environment.

Good luck in the future.
f

-----Original Message-----
From: lis-pub-libs: UK Public Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Riddick, Amanda
Sent: 20 March 2012 18:39
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: IT in the library

Little did I think that I'd set off such a long discussion. I obviously should have made it clearer where I stand. As Phil Jones and a couple of other people have kindly pointed out, I never said that I resented helping library users with IT issues, and in fact I don't resent it at all. I was really happy to help that woman get her travel details sorted out, just like I like helping kids with sorting out their homework. Like all of you, I see that as part of my job. However, I have come across a colleague or two who did feel resentful, grumbling about having to do something that wasn't in their job descriptions (and don't tell me you've never met anyone like that) and why didn't these people go to computer classes etc etc etc. Whether that's a cover under which to hide their own lack of confidence in dealing with an IT issue, or something else, I don't know. 

Along with that I've been told a couple of times that I really should be at the counter/issue desk, and that the level of IT work I should do is showing people how to sign in, but not take it any further, like assisting someone in setting up an email account, showing them how to put bullet points into their CV, or whatever. Of course this also relates to staffing shortages, and I totally understand that there are times when I really can't leave the counter when there's noone else there. Even so, there's clearly a gap between the official version of What Libraries Do and what library staff actually do. 

And yes, it is actually depressing or sad (a couple of people used those words in their replies) that I wanted to ask that question in the first place. In an ideal world, that sort of issue wouldn't even come up. Anyway, thanks for all your replies, and I'm glad to know that there's a lot of like-minded people out there.

Amanda
Library Assistant
MA student in Library and Information Studies UCL ________________________________________
From: lis-pub-libs: UK Public Libraries [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Pete Walker [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 20 March 2012 16:43
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: IT in the library

Yes Lynne.  If we do not know the answer, we know how to find it.  That's why I love the Enquire service so much.  If we are stuck with a question from the public we can circulate it round the Enquire list and hey presto, usually within a few minutes, we have an answer.  Also, when we are shut, the public can still use the Enquire service with it's 24 hour access, so help is always there.  Its just another string to our bows.  And that's why I love the profession.  Who can ever say its boring!!!

Pete Walker
DO - Digital Services
Bradford Libraries

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