Thursday, July 28, 2011

More about Emerging technologies

Going through my notes again on the Emerging technologies and the library manager program I found a few more interesting points. Again, it was great program, I thought, in that it was pretty informal. We were all in the position of wondering what Richard should or could have done. Could he have done something differently to get the support of his director for Digital Commons? Should he have acted differently when he did not get that support? In hindsight yes -- not wasted time on the other product. But could he have known that without trying it? Was it not possible that he might have been able to build something on the other product that would have convinced his director that it was a worthy project, worthy of the $15,000 that Digital Commons would cost?

In any case, Simon had a few tips on middle management.

  • If all you're hearing about is the budget, then you can assume that any costly product is a no-go.
  • Are other libraries doing it? This might be important information.
  • Capitalize on strengths. Do you have a staff member who's being wasted in the spot they're in? Give people challenging projects. Don't waste them. Do your library and your IT department coexist peacefully? If so, take advantage of that. Then go talk to your boss. But still don't be attached to your idea.
  • Reward people who are truthful. This makes the environment lighter and better.
  • There's a time for getting information, and a time for being done.

We've all been in the position of having a great idea, and then having that great idea stymied. It's still not clear what to do about this, but having Richard hold his problem up to the light for us to look at and think about is very helpful, as is the recognition that you (okay, me) are not the only one in this situation.

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