IT tips/resources/plz halp

Hello folks

During the lecture yesterday, I asked about IT help and I know there are multiple IT folks here in this class. Halp plz!!!

I want to improve my skills but I don’t know what a sys admin, IT, network, technology librarian “looks like.”

I have intermediate HTML and CSS skills and I am the website person for my specific school. What can I learn and what tools are there to learn it? I have seen and learned some basic shell scripting and some other Unix-like terminal navigating.

Should I try to relearn Python? Relearn JS? R? Any examples that can shared of a typical day? Are these too many questions?! I’m sorry! Any help is greatly appreciated!!!

What kind of library are you interested in working in? Size and structure may affect this a lot. I would try and ask this to people in roles you find interesting and see what they say, it may differ. I work as the sole Systems Librarian in a public library in a mid-size Canadian city (about 250,000). Our city IT department coordinates a lot of technical stuff (ex. with servers, equipment set-up, security). The Systems Team at our library also includes a person with more technical IT background who does some of that work on our side. But smaller libraries, you may be doing a lot more than this, and there are bigger ones I know where people are really specialized within Systems.

I came in with similar skills to you, maybe more web/troubleshooting/digital resources stuff, not sure. Database skills, SQL, basic understanding of server set-up would be useful. But there’s a lot I’m able to learn as I go, and I think that willingness to learn something new basically every day is pretty important. I’m constantly asking questions, clarifying, and researching as I work with others.

Before I applied for this job, I did find these resource lists had helpful links. A little dated so someone else may have something more recent to share too:

There is also IT specific training you could do, diplomas and so forth, but depending what you’re interested in it may be too detailed, or something you could pursue once in a role and you identify what you need to know.


I’ve been thinking about this since you asked!

There are two courses on WebJunction specifically about IT for librarians:

Computer Networking for Librarians:
IT Security for Librarians:

I’ve been background-listening to the computer networking one today and it covers the basics. If you’re curious about day-to-day stuff, anything that’s a study guide for certifications CompTIA A+, Network+, or Security+ will give you a more in-depth look.

You might also look at job descriptions for Systems Librarian and see what skills they list.

For website development stuff, I think JavaScript or PHP would be the most helpful. I’m not a programmer/developer type, so that’s really just an educated guess. What might also be useful (if you have the resources), learn how to create a webserver. LAMP stack is frequent: Linux OS, Apache webserver, MySQL for data, PHP for scripting.

My IT department is small, so I do a broad range of stuff day to day. We administer our own servers and etc, but some libraries depend on local government for IT. A lot of it depends on your environment, to how broad or specific the job/position is. If you like the website stuff, I’d start getting deeper there.


I understand there are specifics to particular kinds of librarianship. I didn’t know if there were unifying factors concerning sys admin and systems jobs.

I have SQL/NoSQL skills as well, my fault, I should’ve included that.

Thank you for the links and your advice!

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I would be interested in getting some sort of certification. If not to show somebody but possibly just for my own growth or edification.

I don’t have any experience setting up a server and the task seems daunting to me.

I did a project in college that combined the SQL, PHP and JS part of the stack it but I’ve never set up a server from scratch or used a cloud service like Linode, AWS, etc…

Thanks for the advice!

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Another more general learning resource is the Tech Learning Collective: Their focus is on building up tech skills for organizers and collectives, and they cover a lot of ground. I’ve taken a bunch of their free classes.


Thank you!

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I found this job description for a systems librarian at a community college. Often, you do both copy cataloging and systems work but not always. Proven just means you’ve been able to answer interview questions to their satisfaction. Hope this helps!

Position Summary:

The Systems Librarian performs a range of information technology-based services for the library. These services include integrated library system software, including automated circulation, cataloging, and online public access catalog services, online networked services of external library consortia; design, installation, and maintenance of the library’s website; and library services to distance learning students, including electronic reserves. The position performs the technical work required to facilitate all those services.

Incumbents must possess a proven ability to effectively work with a culturally, linguistically, and ethnically diverse faculty, staff, and student. They are expected to have excellent oral and written communication skills along with strong Information technology literacy skills such as Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, Teams, etc.)

Minimum Qualifications:

Master’s degree in Library Science or appropriately related discipline with one (1) year of experience in computer systems, network and software design, development and implementation in a library environment; or a combination of education, training, and experience which would lead to the competencies required for successful performance of the position’s essential duties.

Successful Candidate must have or must possess:

Experience providing computer systems support to the College’s library.
Experience in design, installation, and maintenance of web pages and distance learning interfaces.
Advanced knowledge of computer hardware and software, local and wide-area networking, software applications development, and equipment installation and maintenance.
Advanced knowledge of the application of computer hardware and software systems to the library and academic information uses and installations.
Experience in installing, operating, troubleshooting, and adapting computer and network equipment and software.

The Code4Lib site has lots of more technically-oriented jobs and may be a useful resource for seeing what’s out there as well:


I just browsed through this and it looks amazingly helpful. Definitely bookmarking for any future presentations/training I might do! Thank you!

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+1 code4lib! you can also watch old Code4Lib conference recordings here: Code4Lib - YouTube

Code4Lib was my last keynote before the pandemic :cry:


Does anybody have personal experience with Drupal? I am the website manager for my school and I update it using the service’s API.

At some point, it would be good to make a recommendation to update the site or at least not pay for the service.

Can anybody attest to it being user friendly or a good alternative to paying for a service to host the site?