Some recent blog posts on learning programming languages and a thread on the VRA listserv about prioritizing too many professional responsibilities got me thinking.  I absolutely agree with the idea that – along with all other continuing education efforts – it is important for professionals to become more technologically proficient.  It makes me cringe a little when I read about library staff who don’t know the first thing about word processing, let alone developing a website or programming languages. 

What strikes me is that librarians seem to fall somewhere along a wide spectrum in this regard.  There are those who want NOTHING TO DO WITH I.T., NO WAY, NO HOW, there are those who get that gleam in their eyes at the mere mention of SQL or Ruby on Rails, then there are those (like me) who really want to learn new things and make databases more accessible and user-friendly and enhance the digital world with more and better information and all that good stuff, but….well….don’t get pumped up by the system side of things.  Maybe it’s a bit of intimidation, but really it’s more that there’s so much else to focus on, especially in a small institution. 

In much the same way that I could easily learn some basic car repair and yet choose the peace of mind of my trusty mechanic, I like to know I can make a call to my friendly local I.T. guy or gal.  I would just rather be spending my time focusing on the things that excite me about information management, such as collection development, cataloging, and reference.  And after all that, there’s just not much time left in the day to tweak the database.

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