Monday, November 28, 2011


I've been reading that oh-so-appropriate book, The Accidental Systems Librarian, by Rachel Singer Gordon. One area which the book addresses and which really peaked my interest, somewhat defines my challenge, and helps guide my learning, is that of competencies. There's so much to deal with.
  • Hardware, software, and the sundry appendages to library computers - especially when the library is struggling to update them in a timely manner - seem to need continuous attention.
  • The library web server and all services upon it need maintaining and keeping up to date. New services must be configured.
  • The library proxy server must be maintained to facilitate remote access to subscription resources.
  • Third party services must be maintained and configured, such as the ILS and other subscription tools like the Journal A-to-Z list, discovery service, and link resolver.
  • Multiple programming languages must be learned to create original solutions or to customize existing services.
  • Network and firewall issues, some of which are in the hands of the IT department, must be overcome.
  • Collaboration with library colleagues who may understand little about systems and who only know what it is that they want to get done without knowing if/how it can be accomplished.
There's a lot to cover and none of it stands still. It's always changing. I think it's more important to know how/where to find answers rather than to try to have all the answers memorized. Solutions need to be as efficient and future-proof as possible.

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