The Accidental Systems Librarian

Rachel Singer-Gordon, "The Accidental Systems Librarian"
Information Today | 2003 | ISBN: 1573871613 | 220 pages | File type: PDF | 1,5 mb

Summary: The Accidental Systems Librarian's Toolbox
Rating: 5

The Accidental Systems Librarian, is intended to be a basic guide to the various duties that systems librarians undertake. The title of the book comes from the fact that many librarians find themselves taking on systems duties without any formal training.

Gordon provides a good overview for the categories of computer knowledge a systems librarian may need. These include an understanding of Microsoft software, Macintosh, Open Source software, networking, web design, intergrated library systems management, troubleshooting, programming, security, and antivirus. She also suggests that a systems librarian should be active in organizing knowledge. Organizing knowledge involves such things as inventorying computer equipment, compiling various types of statistics for the library, and keeping up with licensing, support information, and systems documentation.

Gordon notes that librarians are often naturals for systems duties because they are familiar with various methods for researching. Research is needed for repairs, troubleshooting, and purchasing. Likewise, librarians are used to having to ferret out the exact piece of information that patrons want. This should enable them to help customer service representatives know exactly how to help them. They should be prepared with detailed information regarding the issue that necessitated their call.

Gordon addresses social networking and professional advancement through listservs, associations, conferences, informal networks, and collaborative projects. These also give the systems librarian a chance to assist other librarians in their work.

This book is an invaluable work for anyone who finds themselves working as a systems librarian. It is not just a basic overview of the systems librarian position. It is a resource builder. The websites, articles, and books she cites within the book serve as a veritable toolbox for the librarian with systems responsibilities.

Summary: Offers a wealth of useful and practical advice
Rating: 5

The Accidental Systems Librarian by Rachel Singer Gordon (founder and webmaster for the library career site and "Computer Media" review columnist for the Library Journal) offers a wealth of useful and practical advice for adapting to, and incorporating advances in, contemporary technologies in order to solve various problems systems librarians encounter as they acclimate themselves to evolving demands for expertise in a rapidly changing field. Individual chapters discuss online classes and tutorials for self-study, IT projects, networking, instruction techniques, and much, much more. The Accidental Systems Librarian is a very highly recommended, reader-friendly guide for systems librarians of all skill and familiarity levels with modern computer capabilities.

Summary: Recommended to all who run computers in libraries
Rating: 5

The Accidental Systems Librarian is entertaining, informative, and reassuring. As a trainer, I am constantly encountering librarians who were not hired as systems specialists but somehow found themselves in that role. I will be recommending this wonderful book to my students.
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