I actually feel that the tech side of library things may be less bewildering to a non-tech person than the *culture*. Things like:
* the way any progress happens in University Time
* the way we're dependent on vendors in ways that mean that yes, often our systems SUCK but we just have to play the hand we're dealt
* the sometimes-fraught relationship between Library IT and University IT
* the customer-focus of the library - including colleagues as customers
* and relatedly, the collaborative nature of so much library work
* depending on where they've come from and how well you're staffed, the very "bitsy" nature of Library IT, not just in having to know about lots of things but having to jump from one thing to another at a moment's notice to troubleshoot instead of being able to get stuck into a project
If someone has no experience in libraries and gets thrust into this culture from something quite different, then no matter how quickly they pick up the tech they risk feeling very adrift in terms of how Things Are Done Around Here and jangling with people because each party is trying to interact in very different ways.
Or they may be a perfect fit culturally and that's why they've made the move! But it's worth keeping a watch to be sure there aren't any "culture shock" incidents, or if there are to deal with them before they cause too much stress.
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jenn Riley
Sent: Saturday, 27 February 2016 9:42 a.m.
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [CODE4LIB] onboarding developers coming from industry
We have a new developer starting soon that’s coming from industry with no experience in libraries. We're interested in hearing about any strategies or training methods you’ve found successful in introducing developers from other areas to the quirkiness of library tech – things like MARC, proxy servers, Z39.50, catalogue knowledgebases, e-resources access, etc. Do you have any successes or advice to share?
For those of you in academic libraries, we also are interested in strategies for getting someone new oriented to the academic environment.
Thanks so much!
Associate Dean, Digital Initiatives | Vice Doyenne, Initiatives numériques
McGill University Library | Bibliothèque Université McGill
3459 McTavish Street | 3459, rue McTavish Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 0C9 | Montréal (QC) Canada H3A 0C9
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