The Aus GLAM Blog Club theme for this month is “Secrets”. I’m very excited because I have been thinking about secrets and industry knowledge this year.
When I was working as an IT professional on projects for libraries, I found that I kept giving IT contractors very basic introductions to what libraries are. Not the big things that we’d normally think are important for newbies to learn, but the basics. Our assumed knowledge. Things that we take for granted, but that sound SUPER WEIRD if people hear you talking about it without any context. In other words, things that are secrets because we think that everyone knows about them.
If we omit – forget to share – some of this basic knowledge then we can end up with misunderstandings and huge projects that fail or run over time and budget. It really pays to make sure everyone is on the same page when we start working together across different disciplines.
This draft is still a bit raw, but I wanted to share something I’ve been working on over the last couple of months. I had about ten pages that I slowly edited down to 4 (around 6 without the table formatting).
For now I have uploaded some different versions. I’m not an expert at formatting for screen readers, so I’ve made longer versions without tables, and shorter versions with tables. There’s a .odt open document and a .pdf version of both, and they’re all Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) so that you can use them any way you like. I made this all in my off-work hours, so that I own all the intellectual rights and I can share it with others outside of my workplace. If you want to share it too, I recommend checking with your boss to see what your work contract says.
If you like this and make another version, let me know! I’d love to link to other versions, and learn from what you find useful.
To make the CC license super clear, I am an enemy of the unpaid extra labour that librarians do in the name of professional development. I am giving this away for free because I can afford to, and I think it’s worth sharing with everyone. If you put hours of work into adapting this or customising it, and you want to charge money for that work, I am 100% supportive of you.
I’m a little shy about posting this now, but I hope that as rough as they are, my drafts are useful, especially to smaller libraries who can’t always afford ongoing IT staff or the time to train them.