Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Tech Support is My Middle Name

This morning, in between two students asking me why their laptops won't print, I stumbled upon several posts questioning whether librarians should be solving patrons' computer problems. Of course, these librarians are tech-savvy enough to agree that while we didn't get an MLS to do that, we should attempt to assist users to the best of our ability. However, there are librarians out there that don't have the tech skills necessary to troubleshoot common problems, and in my case, there are some IT departments out there that don't share their knowledge.

The small proprietary university at which I work gives student satisfaction surveys on a regular basis, and the library continually ranks near the top, if not at the top, of the student satisfaction scale. The IT department is often at the bottom. This may be due to the fact that they do things like change IP addresses on printers without any notice beforehand and any instructions for students afterwards, delete the library's access to the web server on which its catalog is housed and cannot figure out how to restore access, and take computers that display the BSOD into the IT Black Hole of No Return. Seriously, the library let IT have two computers that froze up over a year ago, and IT acts like they have no idea what I'm talking about!

In light of my experiences over the past year, librarians providing tech support is not even an issue. I try to learn more about IT everyday...networking, security, you name it. I do whatever I can whenever the students ask, because if I send the students up to the people that are "trained" to help, who knows what they might get? Plus, I keep getting the high satisfaction scores and might even help IT get higher scores if nobody has to deal with them.

1 comment:

  1. yipes, if I only worked within the parameters of my job description I'd piss off my coworkers on a daily basis. :) I'm glad you're helping the students out, for the most part, they're a crowd worth showing sympathy to.