At the Ref Desk (1/16/19): Today's funny: Got an IM from a student asking who to contact for an overdue book. I texted him the phone number for Access Services. Student replied back that he'd call once his class was over. Um, right. [more...]

Too Much Tech Know-How?

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 2/16/09 (9:06am)

The following caught my eye in yesterday's NYT:

Some backgrounds are considered better than others for budding digital asset managers. Familiarity with information technology is necessary, but it is possible to have too much tech know-how, said Victoria McCargar, a preservation consultant in Los Angeles and a lecturer at U.C.L.A. and San José State University.

"People with I.T. backgrounds tend to be wrong for the job," she said. "They tend to focus on storage solutions: 'We'll just throw another 10 terabytes on that server.'" A result, she said, can be "waxy buildup" — a lot of useless files that make it hard to find the good stuff.

My reaction: depends on what you mean by 'I.T. background'. I mean, if that background includes systems design and interface design, you better believe I'd take that person for "digital asset management" way before someone without a similar background.

I mean, the easiest way to be sold a bill of goods is to have someone without the requisite technological expertise calling the shots. It's like having a chemotherapy patient being evaluated by a hair stylist. There's just no professional framework for such an individual to make an informed decision.