Laura,  This is a great question, but a very difficult one for me to answer in 
a clear way.  The no-brainers you list make sense to me.

For me, libraries and programming developed almost inseperably.  I saw the one 
as the context in which to do the other.  I graduated from the University of 
Illinois with a computer science degree in 1989 and also took some graduate 
courses in library science.  I worked in and around libraries for most of my 
working life, and much has changed in both fields since then.

You might want to turn the question around and ask yourself "what new ideas can 
this person bring into libraryland?"  My impression has been that libraryland 
is very insular and self-absorbed to the point that it courts the danger of 
making itself irrelevant to the rest of the world.  For one, the fact that the 
MARC record format has persisted as it has to this day is mind-boggling. MARC 
is like a set of blinders that keep people looking library metadata in one 
particular way long after it has outlived its usefulness.

The past few years I have spent in the corporate world doing completely 
different things, and now I am returning back to the library world with what 
have I learned out there.

AS for an ah-ha moment, my experience in working in a small town library long 
ago and immersing myself in its every day cycle through its manual circulation 
system gave me an understanding of how that system works.  And I used that as a 
context for my studies in computer science and work thereafter which turned 
into a positive cycle.  For me, the one gives a reason to do the other.

Peter Schlumpf

-----Original Message-----
>From: Laura Smart <>
>Sent: Jul 20, 2011 11:04 AM
>Subject: [CODE4LIB] Programmer Orientation to Library/Lib Sci
>Hi folks -
>What do you include in orientation when you hire a programmer
>(excellent, experienced, of course), who isn't familiar with
>library-land?  MARC is a given, ditto the ILS, plus e-resource
>management back end (OpenURL parsers, proxies and the like).  From
>those of you who came into libraries for other industries:  what do
>you wish you knew about libraries, library/info science, and library
>operations when you began? I'm especially interested in anything which
>gave you an "ah-ha!" moment when you were working with library data --
>the implicit things which didn't make sense until you knew why those
>crazy librarians did things the way they did.   Also - which resources
>were particularly valuable to you as you gained familiarity with your
>new environment?
>Your insight is deeply appreciated,
>Laura J. Smart
>Metadata Services Manager, Caltech Library

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