By Clare Playforth, Library assistant, The Library University of Sussex
I want to express how important I think software skills are for people who work in libraries and how I feel like more value should be placed on their development. We are in the business of information, creating it, archiving it, retrieving it, curating it and delivering it, so it is a constant source of mystery to me that we are often so bad at working with the systems, processes and software that enable this.
I accept that there are many different reasons that you might want to work in the information profession (you know like those weird folk who say “I’m a people person”) but whichever way you look at it, information is the uniting factor – information technology and information as in data. We all want to provide good customer service but in my experience people seem slow to accept that the more library workers know about how to use and exploit software and information technologies the better the customer is going to be served. A massive chunk of user interactions with any library will be through the catalogue, databases, web pages and self service and yet often these digital user experiences are not seen as being as important as the face to face ones and I think that the development of staff skills in these areas could benefit from greater investment.
In the past colleagues have commented on how ‘techy’ I am and I always think… Continue Reading