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Nov 18

Outsourcing Technology: A Practical Guide for Librarians (2014)

Posted on November 18, 2015 at 2:41 PM by Brian Herder

Outsourcing Technology

Outsourcing Technology: A Practical Guide for Librarians (2014)

Robin Hastings

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers


Here, acclaimed technology author and speaker Robin Hastings brings both her own experience as a library’s IT manager with outsourcing technical functions—including email and network backups as well as basic hardware maintenance—and that of others in her network of library techies to round out the book to help libraries of all types and sizes save money and expand services. Outsourced functions covered here range from using an outside firm to assist in creating a new library website to outsourcing basic computer maintenance and network administration.

Outsourcing Technology: A Practical Guide for Librarians has something for every size and type of library:

  • Libraries with no IT people at all will learn how to create and manage an IT department made up of outside contractors and providers;
  • Libraries with small IT departments will learn how to supplement their existing skills and offload staff-intensive but non-essential functions to outsourced providers in order to focus on mission critical functions in-house; and,
  • Libraries with large IT departments will learn how to use consultants and vendors to get the most bang for their technology bucks.

The care and maintenance of technology is a specialized field requiring a diverse set of skills to perform properly. Many libraries find it difficult to attract skilled people because of a lack of personnel budgets, because of a location that is rural enough to have a limited applicant pool, or because the library lacks enough technological savvy to make effective hiring decisions. Regardless of the reason for the lack of technological skill in a library’s staff, there are ways to outsource major technological functions of the library so that even very small libraries can have the same access to technology as the big libraries - and big libraries can manage huge technological projects with the same resources and skills as multinational companies.

Outsourcing Technology: A Practical Guide for Librarians will provide the information and guidance needed for both the smallest libraries to embrace technology and the largest libraries to get the most from their technology investments with tips and tricks for libraries of size between as well. Checklists and forms make this both a great source of information as well as a hands-on tool!