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CODE4LIB  March 2016

CODE4LIB March 2016

Subject:

Re: onboarding developers coming from industry

From:

Leah Root <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 2 Mar 2016 08:41:25 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (80 lines)

I am an IT professional who transferred from a 20 year corporate background
to the Academic Library Universe. I agree with nearly everything that
Deborah and Keith wrote.

My advice to those working with  a 'Library IT newbie person' is this:
Show the Library IT person  how the end user works with your software,
platforms, servers, databases, and other electronic resources.  Let the
Library IT person meet with individual librarians, staff, student workers,
and  faculty as much as possible.    That way the Library IT person can
understand the practical applications and workflow of all the systems in
the library, and understand the needs and frustrations of the end users.
    We cannot code in a vacuum.

Disclaimer of sorts: I am very grateful to be in an Academic Library
environment.  I will never look back.  When I see that anything I have
programmed or developed: tracks and proves benefits of library resource
usage; allows students to download textbooks freely; allows authors and
professors to publish their work via Creative Commons; allows better access
to knowledge in general - - that outweighs any frustration.



On Wed, Mar 2, 2016 at 5:52 AM, Keith Gilbertson <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> I also agree very much with what Deborah wrote. I'd come from an
> IT/software development background, and even after a couple of years in
> libraries, I hadn't adjusted to library culture. I was frustrated enough to
> write a paper about it and present at ACRL:
>
> http://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/23885
> Mutant Superheroes, Contained Chaos, and Smelly Pets: Library Innovation
> through Imaginary Anarchy
>
> Reading my paper now, I recognize that I was completely wrong about a few
> things (meetings aren't always terrible), and the tone seems entitled to me
> today. But two of the things that I noticed that are considered good about
> library culture were very stressful to me as a library newbie, and match
> what Deborah has pointed out:
>
> - Emphasis on collaboration and consensus
> - Expectation to work on multiple, simultaneous projects
>
> By the way, I've adjusted my attitude somewhat, and we've gotten better at
> doing IT and software in the library and in our group, so I'm happy in
> libraries now.
>
>
> On Tue, Mar 1, 2016 at 9:39 PM, Fitchett, Deborah <
> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > 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
> >
>



-- 
Leah M Root
Library Publishing/Web Services Developer
Milne Library, SUNY Geneseo <http://www.geneseo.edu/library/leah-root>
1 College Circle, Geneseo, NY 14454
585-245-6061 | cell 585-802-4676
[log in to unmask]
@RootLeah <https://twitter.com/RootLeah>

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