Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Must Read...and It's Free.

Another reason to love Doug Johnson: He wrote a wonderful little book that every librarian should read...and made it a free download.

I can best describe Machines are the easy part as the "Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" for the teacher/librarian.  These are  not detailed policies or how-to's for technology, but snippets of incredible and often-overlooked wisdom we would all do well to remember.  Basically, in an easy-to-read form, Doug encapsulates the philosophies that should drive both our technology use and our decision making.

I've been reading it this morning, and here is just one snippet that struck me as profound in its simplicity:
Change anything, and someone is not going to like it.  But some people will...the real key to getting people to accept a new way of doing things is the What's In It For Me factor.  Show people how the new policy, technology or plan is going to 1) make their jobs easier, 2) make them more efficient, 3) make them more effective.

If the change doesn't result in one of these things happening, you might want to question your motive for asking people to make the change.  To make YOUR life easier is not sufficient reason (p 25).
I have always been one of the "I enjoy theory, but give me something I can do in class tomorrow" types, and I try to show teachers how technology can make their lives/jobs easier...but I need to do a better job of that and this was a good reminder not to get carried away by my own tech-enthusiasm.

The book also gave me the title for my re-branded blog, which I hope will be up in the next week or two:  The Imperative Library   (which probably also gives a nod to Buffy Hamilton's The Unquiet Library/Librarian).  In these days of slashing libraries and jobs, how do we make sure we, and the libraries we run, are an imperative in the school?

Reading Doug's book is a good start for everyone.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jeri,

    Thanks for the kind review. I've always been proud of this little book since it was a joint project with my son when he was a HS senior.

    And it's a good value for the price!

    All the best,