Because of the implementation, support and use of technology, our staffs are more skilled and highly trained. And when the network goes down or there is a strain in the infrastructure backbone, it cripples our ability to provide full services.
Because of the use of technology, our collections are accessible to more people (from home, work or anywhere), our materials move faster to and from the patrons hands and we are better able to develop exciting and diverse collections to meet our growing public’s demand and need.
Because of the use of new technologies, our buildings and facilities are better managed, smarter in design to deliver services and capable of adapting more easily to service level changes.
So if your library is still treating technology as a separate service offering or silo, step back and think about this. What would you do …
… if you lost email communications for week because your server crashed and hadn’t been upgraded in 5 years?
… if all your access to electronic databases and the internet went down for a week because your network (built on a fragile spider web of routers, switches and equipment) failed and was as old as that first PC -- remember those PCs that booted from 5 1/4” floppies and had 10 mb hard drives – your library installed?
… if access to your online catalog evaporated along with a nasty virus attack that rendered your database useable?
… if you had no way to check-in or scan returned materials so you could get them back on the shelves or forwarded to the next patron in line?
The truth is technology is core to nearly everything we do, from checking out books and materials to answering simple reference questions; to communication with our staffs and public; to providing access to our buildings and facilities; and most especially, to our core services.
I agree with Roy... Technology is NOT a service. Technology IS an ever-evolving FOUNDATION.
PS: Read Roy’s article too – he takes a different spin to this “Technology is not a service” thought in his article and makes an equally sound argument... “The technical infrastructure that makes something possible is only the first step of a long process to make something usable.”
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