Out of my comfort zone
Today I’m attending the Nonprofit Technology Conference. It’s so easy to forget that libraries are also non-profits. I’m excited to learn how other types of institutions who struggle with the similar challenges of limited funding, outreach challenges, and working with committees and/or boards are dealing with the particular challenges of technology. I’m immediately struck by the similarities of this crowd to the others I’ve attended in rural areas. It’s so easy to forget when we get used to large, national conferences (Internet Librarian, ALA, lita) or technology interest groups that the audience is pre-selected. They’re there because they get it and are among kindred spirits. At a conference like this the atmosphere is very different. There are sessions on how to effectively use email and cope with technology threats. Not that that’s bad, but so fundamental compared to what I’m used to hearing about at conferences.
The day has begun with a short introduction be Mary Ellen Jackson, executive director of the NH Center for Nonprofits. She just talked about the four cornerstones of non profit success: leadership, management, technology and adaptiveness. Gosh, how concise. It occurs to me that one important distinction to make is that technology is NOT technology is technology… or, it’s not all the same thing. We need to be sure to be specific about the kind of technology we’re discussing because the approach taken to file server management and technology, for example, is that the same as the approach to web design. They’re SO different.