- replacing the current equipment with new brands and using it for the same tasks;
- improving the current practices;
- involving new technologies to present the holdings of the institution;
- facilitating the users in their learning or enjoyment;
- connecting to other institutions' resources;
- serving specific groups of users (disabled users, young, old);
- Can the long-term influence of the new equipment be measured? Would it fit in
with the organisational vision for future development?
- Can this new setting save on costs and human effort?
- What skills will the staff have to acquire? How can these be provided?
- Is the technology helping to solve a problem? What new problems may arise?
- Is the equipment stable enough for public use?
- What maintenance is required? Would it need the special attention of staff mem-
bers? What can be harmed by the visitors? (Files? The devices themselves?)
Existing Infrastructures Required
The technological infrastructure in the organisation definitely changes with the imple-
mentation of new human interfaces technology, requiring both hardware upgrades and
the installation of new software or drivers.To move successfully through such changes,
organisations should take care that they optimise the skills of the staff in a way that staff
members feel able to work effectively in the technological environment. Management
should ensure that the staff receive suitable training and assistance in those skills which
are largely specific to the institution. For many cultural institutions the focus will be on
providing services to the customers, and this appears currently to be a weak point.
What organisational structures
make the technology appropriate?
New interfaces technologies are unlikely to require or lead to changes in organisational
structures. It is normal for an implementation committee to be set up and all organisational
staff responsible for the collection management are likely to be trained for the use of the
new equipment.To a significant extent, the success of the introduction of new technologies
is likely to depend on the standard of the technological personnel within the institution.
Management should conduct annual reviews of their staff skills with regard to poten-
tial obsolescence, and staff members should be provided with a report on the conclu-
sions. Suggestions for further development of skills should be made at this stage. Staff job
descriptions should reflect the specific requirements for skills and guidelines on good
practice in using specialised equipment in day-to-day work should be formulated.
Priorities should be clearly established and a training programme which targets the areas
of greatest need should be developed.
Staffing levels and user base issues
Real-life experiences reported so far show that there could be a need to reallocate
staff members to computer equipment which is available to the public and which is not