Tag Archives: IT

Unit 13: IRLS 675 wrapup

How sad, we have come once again to the “final blog post” time of the semester! Since this time around, I’m going to try to make my final paper more formal, use the third person, and all that jazz, I guess this is my last opportunity to talk about what I got out of this class personally.

First of all, it was really great to try so many different kinds of applied technology. Sometimes it was a little challenging to figure out hard drive space issues with juggling around so many different VMs, but it was definitely worth it. When I think about how I was able to critically assess the different articles in the management portion of the class, my understanding of digital collections and issues of platform, customizability, and so forth was increased exponentially as the applied part of the class went on. Although 672 was a good beginning, actually getting hands-on experience with the kinds of software that digital collections managers are using and evaluating was a really empowering experience. Seeing what was similar and what was unique to each setup by actually installing and using it was a completely different experience than reading about each system’s capabilities, or even using sites that have been created using those systems.

The other thing that I want to emphasize about the applied technology portion is that its repetitive process of using similar procedures in different ways over time helped demystify things that I had done by rote before. This isn’t to say that I’ve become an expert at anything; a week or two isn’t enough time for that. But I do feel that I’m confident enough to try installing new software in a new VM — perhaps the museum collection management software mentioned in unit 14? — and know what to do with Apache to get it to work, know how to use wget or ftp to put files on the VM, etc., and actually know what those functions are doing, rather than doing them because that’s what the forum post said.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Unit 11: general impressions

This week, we got to start playing with Omeka. It reminded me a lot of our Drupal unit. The themes and plugins seemed very similarly structured. A little searching dug up this post in which an Omeka developer commented that the code bases are structured very differently, but from an initial user perspective, it had a similar front-end feel.

I think that approachable feel is really important. For example, although we didn’t look at Joomla or WordPress in this class, making the experience easy and visually appealing is part of why those tools are so successful. One thing I’ve noticed in comparing the different platforms in this class is that things that are visually appealing and approachable on the back end tend to be so on the front end when implemented, too. Okay, that wasn’t the greatest sentence in the world, but hopefully you’ll get what I mean: something like Drupal that has a really slick, intuitive, and approachable interface just tends to power better sites than something old and clunky-feeling like DSpace.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Unit 12: Finishing up with product management

It’s a little sad that this will be my final blog post for IRLS 672! Perhaps when I start up with IRLS 675 in a few weeks, there will be further assignments, or perhaps I will end up using this blog for a record of personal endeavors.

This last week crammed quite a bit of information into one short unit on project management. Something that really jumped out at me from the readings was in the Microsoft one, specifically the tradeoff triangle and tradeoff matrix. Basically, inserting the words “resources,” “schedule,” and “feature set” into the blanks, simply using this sentence can define which variables are fixed and which are adjustable. Without a formal project plan, the “feature creep” and “user creep” mentioned in other readings can render initial goals (such as keeping within a reasonable budget or time period) irrelevant.

Given fixed ____________, we will choose a ___________ and adjust ___________ as
necessary.

Although this is a bit of an anticlimactic note to finish on (yeah, okay, I found this far dryer than the SQL unit; maybe it would have been more interesting with a hands-on component?), I have to say that I’m a bit surprised not to have had exposure to other project management materials in my previous library school classes. Perhaps I’ll never oversee a complex IT project such as the readings are intended for, but I’ll certainly be in charge of smaller projects — in fact, I am already, and I’m a participant in many more. “Project management” seems more like a buzzword than something that my classes or organization has invested much time in researching, and this is definitely an area that I can tell would do me well to come back to and study in depth.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Unit 8: Technology Plans

In this week’s reading, I found Chabrow’s discussion of government IT failures and lessons learned (available at http://www.informationweek.com/news/174401550) to be oddly comforting. In my experience working at and volunteering for a public and an academic library, respectively, I have been disappointed with a lot of the IT realities in those organizations. Knowing that this is a common experience throughout government organizations, even ones very different and better-funded, was a relief, in that it means that these common problems will probably be solved by other governmental agencies (perhaps by lessons learned in the corporate world), and libraries won’t necessarily have to discover their own workable solutions, but merely adopt others’.

I hope to be involved in technology planning activities after I graduate, certainly, but I also see this information coming in handy if I end up being invited to join the new electronic resources task force that my library system is putting together. Familiarity with best practices and pitfalls alike will surely help as the team evaluates usage metrics, markets, and plans electronic resource acquisitions.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized