One of my favorite posts comes from Meredith Farkas, where she talks about tech lovers - herself included - putting the cart before the horse in terms of technology in (some) libraries:
I remember when I came to Norwich over two years ago, eager to implement blogs, wikis, etc. And a lot of the initial things I tried to implement failed. Why? Because I put the tool before the need, I didn’t consider the fact that my colleagues may not want to use these tools, and I didn’t really consider the maintenance burden these tools have.
This is a perspective I have wrestled with myself, and I find, and have to admit, that I have done the same thing.
I have been pretty unsuccessful at implementing very much in terms of 2.0 technology at my library (for various reasons, but most notably the fact that I only work part-time, and there's only so much I can do and take on as my sole responsibility), but one thing I did take on was the maintenance of the library's blogs. Our main blog was put together by our former director, and I then created a teen blog, and a teen book review blog. None were even remotely "successful" in terms of patron use.
My goal was simple: to post news, upcoming events, and new book lists for our adult and teen patrons in an easy-to-access place. I was told, point-blank and from the get-go, "No one is going to read the blog - why bother?" And, unfortunately, that assessment was correct. Once I realized that few of our patrons even knew what a blog was, never mind the concept of RSS, I tried to market them via flyers and my ever-popular bookmarks (which fly off the circ desk). Still, no one shows any interest in the blogs, and all have (from what I can tell) fewer than five subscribers - one of them being me.
My excitement in the technology, and my desire to help move my library "to the next level," clearly trumped the patrons' desire - or need, it seems - to read our blogs. Naturally, I have found this frustrating, especially since I still truly believe that if I could somehow effectively inform the patrons of the technology and how convenient it is to use, that I would certainly win over at least a few people. But, I simply am not afforded the time/opportunity to do that.
So, I persevere, partly because I'm stubborn and unwilling to concede "defeat," and partly because I still hope against hope that it will catch on. Although, I do think that if the blog feature were truly incorporated into the web page (ala Joomla, Drupal, Scriblio, WordPress, or even Blogger, for that matter), it would work; patrons do visit our web site, just not the blogs. But again, unless I decide to design a new site during my off-time and out of the goodness of my heart (read FREE), I don't see it happening anytime soon. And maybe that's ok.
Oh, well, I tried. I may have tried "wrong," but I tried.