More than once (ok, actually quite often), I’ve heard librarians say “IT won’t let me do that,” or “IT said no, so I figured out how to go around them,” or simply “IT won’t support that product.”
And I always respond by asking why they’re allowing IT to control decisions?
IT guys and gals, please remember – we are in the library to:
- support whatever the library wants to do, to the best of our ability
- find better ways of doing things when possible
- make sure the technology is easy to use, helps meet the library’s needs, and stays as out-of-the-way and transparent as possible, so staff don’t have to think about the tech (unless they want to)
- And make sure nothing crashes and burns, backups are in place, the website works, etc.
We are NOT there to dictate what library staff can and cannot do.
Sure, there will be staff computer use policies in place. Sure, there are budgets to consider.
But we don’t have to say “no.” Instead, work on saying “yes.” Here are some examples:
- Yes, but give me a month. We need to work on other priorities first.
- Yes. It needs to come from your supervisor, so talk to them first and have them email me.
- Great idea! We didn’t budget for that this year. Let’s get a discussion started and see if we want to do itÂ next year.
These are all positive, and a version of “yes.” The last two sound a bit likeÂ “no” – but (and I know this sounds sorta passive, but it’s really not) it puts the decision-making back where it belongs, with the employee’s supervisor, or with a larger group looking at options. It’s not just IT saying “no.”
Does your IT department say no? What do you do about that? Please share!
image by Berkeley Lab