Add to GoodReads

Outsourcing Technology

A Practical Guide for Librarians

Robin Hastings

Here, acclaimed technology author and speaker Robin Hastings brings both her own experience as a library’s IT manager with outsourcing technical functions—including email and network backups as well as basic hardware maintenance—and that of others in her network of library techies to round out the book to help libraries of all types and sizes save money and expand services. Outsourced functions covered here range from using an outside firm to assist in creating a new library website to outsourcing basic computer maintenance and network administration.

Outsourcing Technology: A Practical Guide for Librarians has something for every size and type of library:

  • Libraries with no IT people at all will learn how to create and manage an IT department made up of outside contractors and providers;
  • Libraries with small IT departments will learn how to supplement their existing skills and offload staff-intensive but non-essential functions to outsourced providers in order to focus on mission critical functions in-house; and,
  • Libraries with large IT departments will learn how to use consultants and vendors to get the most bang for their technology bucks.

The care and maintenance of technology is a specialized field requiring a diverse set of skills to perform properly. Many libraries find it difficult to attract skilled people because of a lack of personnel budgets, because of a location that is rural enough to have a limited applicant pool, or because the library lacks enough technological savvy to make effective hiring decisions. Regardless of the reason for the lack of technological skill in a library’s staff, there are ways to outsource major technological functions of the library so that even very small libraries can have the same access to technology as the big libraries - and big libraries can manage huge technological projects with the same resources and skills as multinational companies.

Outsourcing Technology: A Practical Guide for Librarians will provide the information and guidance needed for both the smallest libraries to embrace technology and the largest libraries to get the most from their technology investments with tips and tricks for libraries of size between as well. Checklists and forms make this both a great source of information as well as a hands-on tool!
« less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 124Size: 8 1/2 x 11
978-0-8108-9247-7 • Paperback • March 2014 • $76.00 • (£49.95)
978-0-8108-9248-4 • eBook • March 2014 • $72.00 • (£47.95)
Robin Hastings is the Director of Technology Services for the North East Kansas Library System. In that capacity, she consults with librarians in the Northeast corner of Kansas on technology and technological issues. She can frequently be found presenting about all the cool things libraries do at various conferences around the world. She has presented on Mashups, Cloud Computing, RSS, Drupal, Library Learning 2.0, Project Management, and many other topics.
Chapter 3. Outsourcing Relationships
Chapter 4. Outsourcing Software
Chapter 5. Outsourcing Tech Support
Chapter 6. Outsourcing Web Development and Design
Chapter 7. Outsourcing Tech Training
Chapter 8. Outsourcing Security
Chapter 9. Consultants and Outsourcing IT Knowledge
Chapter 10. Innovative Outsourcing
Chapter 11. Learning from Outsourcing
About the Author
Robin Hastings has created a great guide to outsourcing technology. Her book provides tips on everything you need to know about outsourcing, from the initial contract to setting up and managing a variety of outsourced technology, including software, web development, and even outsourced IT staff. A must-read if you have too many techie projects and not enough techie staff.
David Lee King, Digital Services Director, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, Kansas, and publisher at davidleeking.com

Outsourcing Technology is a practical, step-by-step guide for all facets of outsourcing library needs. As a library trainer, the guidance and resources included in the "Tech Training" chapter provide excellent foundations that I have used in my own work. If you're looking for an all-in-one book about outsourcing for libraries, Robin Hastings' Outsourcing Technology is the one. From Assessment to Training to Innovation, she covers the spectrum in easy-to-grasp-and-implement steps. If you are a library director who just needs to get things done, Robin Hastings' Outsourcing Technology is your guidebook on outsourcing. Hastings takes a straightforward, practical approach to every piece of the process.
Patti Poe, Continuing Education Consultant, Northeast Kansas Library System

Library technology author and speaker, Robin Hastings, states in the preface that 'technological know-how is expensive and difficult to keep in-house,' regardless the size of a library’s information technology (IT) budget. However, she believes smaller libraries can be just as forward thinking as larger libraries in meeting their patrons’ technology needs. Her goal in this book is to provide a resource to help those smaller libraries supplement or create an IT staff from outsourced consultants and vendors. . . .Outsourcing Technology is a conversational and practical guide for busy librarians who need quick advice on standard library technology issues. It is recommended for smaller libraries in particular.

Technical Services Quarterly