As I mentioned in a previous post, I am the ParaTech for my department. I’m not sure if this is a thing that goes on at other libraries, but when you have to cut positions, I think this is a creative way to help out an overburden department.
As the ParaTech for my department I act as the liaison for the IT department and the Information Services department. I make sure anything technological is working and it’s working like it’s suppose to. A lot of what I do is troubleshooting the computers and handling questions that deal with the Public Access Technology (the computers, copiers, printer, etc.). I also have to attend monthly meetings and get to learn about new technology coming to the library system. Which is neat.
For the last couple of weeks we’ve been having a reoccurring issue with our public access computers and the reservation software. Usually the customers are able to log on to any computer that is not already in use, or reserved, and sign on for two hours to complete focused work. However, lately the computers have been giving false reservation messages, saying it’s reserved for someone when it’s not and shorting customers time, giving them 30-45 mins at a time. I’ve reported it, but as far as IT and the company knows there is nothing wrong on their end. But the issue persist.
I started keeping track of when we experience the problem and noticed it wasn’t all the time and kind of had a pattern; but since I wasn’t on the desk all the time I wasn’t able to get concrete results. In response I created a form using Google Docs that all the staff can use to help me track computer issues in our department. As I showed everyone the form they really responded well to it. You honestly never know how people will react when you ask them to do a new step in their daily regime. But I posed it as a way to help us better understand the problems with the software and have written proof that something screwy is going on.