12 September 2008

Professional Reading 1 - ALIA PD Scheme

Quote of this post - "I'm afraid you can't see the forest for the trees." (idiomatic phrase)

We all have to deal with IT people whether we work in a University, Public, special or school Library. I.T people have to deal with people who do not speak their language.
Lisa A. Ennis points out a few handy tips in her article: "Talking the talk: Communicating with IT". Computers in Libraries, September 2008, p.14-18. Accessed 05/09/08 via Australia/NZ Reference Centre: Ebscohost.

These are basic tips, but sometimes the simple is overlooked because we simply don't think the fix could be so simple and we overlook the obvious. Just like the idiomatic phrase: You can't see the forest for the trees. The fix-it solution is right there in front of us, but we cant see it.

1. Is the power on and plugs in the power point and the power switch on? [Lots of us have hilarious stories, I know a fellow that was a Systems Tech at a Uni and he had an irate lecturer who became even angrier when asked basic simple questions. When he arrived at the office, it was to find that the computer was not switched on at the wall. This would highly likely be the most common of all and the most embarassing. CHECK IT'S PLUGGED IN PROPERLY.
2. Make sure all cables and leads are sitting in the connection properly. Especially if you are trying to print.
3. REBOOT. If all else fails, reboot, reboot or restart, restart. (not with your boot)
4. Record the steps you followed, (even better do a Print Screen) and email this to the Systems techs.
5. Keep the computer cables and your speech, verbal or written, clean.
6. Install software responsibly (in some places this is always the case as only I.T. staff can do this).
7. Learn some basic technology and some basic troubleshooting tips: i.e. is the log-in to the computer or the program CASE SENSITIVE, Is CAPS LOCK ON and should it be OFF or vice versa.
8. Does the software program do what you want it to do?
9.Back up your data. {Have at least one hard/print copy of every document}
10. BE NICE.

The basic tenets of communication also help when communicating with IT people, also known as the 5 "WH;s" of communicating -
and then the little word HOW:

Another word which comes in very handy when communicating either face-to-face, via phone or via email whether it's the Manager of a department or the Volunteer in your organisation, this is: RESPECT. In your work capacity, staff in another building are your Internal Customers. Always treat other staff with the same respect you give your external customers. :-)


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