Some lessons from my own introduction coming from an IT/Comp-Sci
background years ago.

Focus more on the why and use-cases rather than the technology. From a
programming perspective much of the technology isn't terribly
difficult and is well known at a basic level. How it's used, why
certain choices were made is the most important information to convey.
If you hired a programmer for a specific task, don't focus on
dictating technology, they should tell you what is current, but rather
what you need and want from the application. Helping them understand
how the data is accessed by your end-users if probably the most
valuable information you can convey.

Be prepared to answer questions and frustrations with library
standards that aren't really machine actionable. One older example is
METS, while it is XML, there is very little you can do to infer higher
a higher level of organization without extensive best practice
description or profiles.


On Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 9:57 PM, P Williams
<> wrote:
> Introduction to this community and related conferences really helped my
> introduction to libraryland and its vernacular.
> Regards,
> Tricia
> On Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 10:04 AM, Laura Smart <>wrote:
>> 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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