Surely this is not new, and represents but one paradigm shift along the
way? This is a journey, not an endpoint.
Supprting people to read, and in what to read?; to learn about printed
sources (a techology shift from vellum and papyrus, as much as the
ballpoint pen was from a quill and IT from Caxton) and to learn about
IT? The balance between support and tuition.
The tragedy, surely, is that we're still discussing this 10 or more
years along the way since 'The People's Network', and it was already
happening before then.
But already we face the point where Smartphones will shortly outnumber
basic mobiles - and yes, even people on low incomes seem to have these.
Libraries might move more widely to WiFi to support those and other
devices - until someone provides ubiquitouis WiFi and we don't need to
do it, and/ot it's streamed into people's homes via 'Smart TV's'.
So what will staff's role be then - 'Meeters and Greeters'? (which some
might call Kiosk Minders). Until, that is, most of whart we read will be
electronic, and all the current flurry of activity in RFID and self
servce dies away?
We all come into a job/career when it works one way - when we leave,
anything upto 40 years (or now probably more!)it shouldn't be the same,
but that is hard for people to adapt to. Where are the 'Wheeltappers'and
'Sagger Makers Bottom Knockers' now?
I once heard it said that people don't like change - then I heard that
it's not that, they just don't loke beiong changed. If they lead the
change they may be happier.
As William Gibson said:
'The future is already here - It's just not evenly disrtibuted...'
Just a philospohical thought - and mine own, and not representative of
my employer, etc. etc.
John Usher BSC Dip Lib
Library and Heritage Services
2 Fieldway Crescent
LONDON N5 1PF
Tel: 020 7527 6920
Mobile: 07825 098 223
Fax: 020 7527 6926
Alternative contact: Michelle Gannon - 020 7527 6907
How to get to Central Library:
From: lis-pub-libs: UK Public Libraries
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ian Clark
Sent: 19 March 2012 09:08
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [LIS-PUB-LIBS] IT in the library
Yes, I think this is (or at least should be) an important part of our
job and I would certainly be concerned if people felt 'resentful'. We
have to remember that a great many people do not have the skills in
which to make use of IT and simple provision of access is not enough.
Libraries play a crucial role in bridging the digital divide for those
considered 'information poor' and without the support we can and should
provide they will be left behind, seriously disadvantaged economically
Incidentally, this raises certain issues in terms of the growth of
community libraries and their ability to help bridge the digital divide
- which, funnily enough, is what I am researching for my Masters
So yes, support should be provided. You wouldn't refuse to assist a
partially sighted individual who needs help to find a suitable talking
book, so why would you refuse to assist someone without the skills to
navigate and utilise IT?
Sorry, as this is an area I am currently researching I could spend all
day on this topic J
Library Systems Officer,
Canterbury Christ Church University
Email: [log in to unmask]
Tel. 01227 767700 ext 3141
From: Riddick, Amanda [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 18 March 2012 18:45
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: IT in the library
The other day, during a very quiet time at the library, I spent a good
20 minutes helping a customer with checking-in online and printing out
her boarding passes and car hire insurance, and that wasn't the first
time I've helped people with IT stuff that isn't to do with the library
(eg formatting, saving onto USB stick, selecting the colour printer). Do
you find that you and/or your colleagues get involved with what I'd call
"informal IT", ie dealing with IT queries that are unrelated to your
library's services and that take place outside formal IT classes? Do you
feel resentful about it, that it's taking you away from what you're
really there to do, or don't mind doing this as part of your job?
I'd appreciate any feedback, but I will probably be writing an essay
about this and may want to quote you (with due references and all, of
course), so please let me know if you're OK about that or not.
thanks and best wishes,
MA Student, Library and Information Studies, University College London
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