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What Your Tech Wants You to Know


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No, your library's tech staff doesn't hate you. Or try to confuse you on purpose. They even speak the same language as you do! Yet, often, conflict arises between tech and other library staff. Everyone gets frustrated, and issues don't get solved as quickly as everyone would like. Discover what you can do to make communication easier and make problem resolutions happen faster. Hear stories and some words of wisdom from techs on the front lines of library technology. Learn how to approach troubleshooting like your tech does, and even some basic things you can even do on your own.

Published in: Technology, Education
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What Your Tech Wants You to Know

  1. 1. What Your Tech Wants You to KnowAn webinarLaura Solomon, MCIW, MLSlaura@designforthelittleguy.comInfopeople webinars are supported by the U.S. Institute of Museum and LibraryServices under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act,administered in California by the State Librarian.
  2. 2. 1.Assumptions=problems
  3. 3. Not all IT people are the same.No, really, this matters.
  4. 4. We make it look easy, but…
  5. 5. Real life IT
  6. 6. “What did you do before Al Goreinvented it?”
  7. 7. It’s not new & shiny
  8. 8. It’s not indestructible
  9. 9. It’s not always what you think it is
  10. 10. Image from
  11. 11. 2.Communicatingwith us
  12. 12. Understand that we’re jugglers
  13. 13. Be careful what you say
  14. 14. Just answer them…please?
  15. 15. No, you’re not stupid
  16. 16. Ask & Pass
  17. 17. Read. Read. READ.
  18. 18. 3.ReportingProblems
  19. 19. From Hitchhiker’sGuide to the Galaxy
  20. 20. Respect channels
  21. 21. “The computer is down!”• The ILS software temporarily lost networkconnection• A workstation lost network connection• All workstations lost network connection• A workstation will not boot• An unexplained message appeared on aworkstation• A given website will not load• Someone has disconnected the display from theworkstation, or almost any other possibleoccurrence.
  22. 22. “Take the time to explainyour problem.If your explanation isone sentence,it’s probably not enough.”--IT guy at Stanford University
  23. 23. A picture is priceless
  24. 24. What to include?• Tell the truth• Is it reproducible?• What happens if you try another computeror browser?• Screenshot and/or actual text of errormessage• Dont just say its broken, say HOW itsbroken
  25. 25. We go here
  26. 26. 4.How toThinkLike anITPerson
  27. 27. ????
  28. 28. ++FTWFTW
  29. 29. Understand dependenciesIf “A” doesn’t work, then “B” probably won’t,either.A B
  30. 30. Simple things count• Check power, cables and paper• Is the computer frozen, or just the program?• Recognize that printing directly from theWeb or from an email is often a losingproposition
  31. 31. reboot reboot reboot reboot rebootreboot reboot reboot reboot rebootreboot reboot reboot reboot rebootreboot reboot reboot reboot rebootreboot reboot reboot reboot rebootreboot reboot reboot reboot rebootreboot reboot reboot reboot rebootreboot reboot reboot reboot rebootreboot reboot reboot reboot rebootreboot reboot reboot reboot reboot
  32. 32. Skills to learn• Check & clear the print queue and theprinter’s buffer• Copy & paste from the keyboard• Which emails are scams
  33. 33. 5.StoriesFrom theField
  34. 34. Me: Hi what’s you problem?Caller: my computer is giving me an error.Me: Okay, what’s the error message say?Caller: I don’t know I just clicked OK and it wentaway.Me:……………………………..?
  35. 35. Me:  Hi what’s you problem?Caller: the printer quit working.Me: Okay, let’s start with the basics.   Is it plugged in?Caller: Yes!Me: is it turned on?Caller: OF COURSE IT”S TURNED ON!Me: Is there paper in it?Caller: ………………………………………….Thanks. <click>
  36. 36. “I was once instructed torefer to the computer asa monitor and themonitor as a computerin order to suit theoutlook of a particularco-worker. “
  37. 37. Printer pickle
  38. 38. Not thinking it through
  39. 39. Once a year
  40. 40. A patron story
  41. 41. Not always about the tech
  42. 42. Not just non-techs
  43. 43. 4 surefire ways to annoy IT staff
  44. 44. 1. Staring at plugs
  45. 45. 2. Makingus playSherlock
  46. 46. 3. Exaggeratingvs.
  47. 47. 4. Anecdotes
  48. 48. Reporting matters. A lot.
  49. 49. Passivity is negative
  50. 50. YOU *are* a tech
  51. 51. We are not the enemy
  52. 52. (Absolutely shameless plug)
  53. 53. you!