10 Rules for Building and Managing a Tech Team

  1. Include at least one frontline staffperson on your team (i.e. a circulation staffperson or a reference librarian). They see a wide variety of patrons and in some respects they might understand patron needs better than the patrons themselves.
  2. Include at least one non-techie on your team.
  3. If possible, include a techie who doesn’t work in a library. Someone with an IT management background would be ideal, but any well-informed technology professional will do.
  4. Include a library techie on your team. If you don’t have an IT department, just invite someone on your staff who’s enthusiastic and knowledgeable about technology.
  5. Prepare for each meeting. Gather relevant information and develop some questions that will generate discussion. Send these out to the team at least a week before each meeting.
  6. Spend the first meeting or two educating your team about the current technology environment in your library, the library’s strategic vision and budget constraints.
  7. Bring in examples of successful programs and services from other libraries. Use the MaintainIT Cookbooks and other resources to help your team understand what’s possible and what’s worked for other libraries.
  8. Teach your team about the community and about the needs of the people you serve. If you don’t have community members and patrons on your team, do some demographic research, observe patrons in the library, interview community leaders and talk with the patrons themselves.
  9. When you’re discussing the needs of your community (#8), talk about the technology needs of people who don’t visit the library on a regular basis.
  10. Follow through on the team’s recommendations.