Terry Huwe leads off his column this month with a short discussion about Depression-era coping skills. With all due respect to those who survived the Great Depression of 1929–1939 (including my parents), I must first observe that the economic trials we have endured in the past 2 years are nothing in comparison to the era when a popular song lyric was, “Buddy, can you spare a dime?”
But in these last few years, I have come to appreciate the primary lesson that my parents were constantly trying to teach me without much success: Each and every dollar actually matters and you can conserve them by being resourceful, inventive, and creative.
This issue of Computers in Libraries magazine explores the many ways your library can cope with today’s reduced funding levels by making better use of the technology, human resources, and skills you already have.
Are you looking for social networking capabilities and collaboration tools but can’t afford a big investment? Authors Lisa Ennis and Randy Tims suggest that a good way to start is by checking to see if SharePoint already exists on your server.
Do you want to reach out to your patrons with news alerts? John Rodzvilla explains how to broadcast new titles using nothing more than Twitter and a spreadsheet.
Do you need to digitize a special collection? Adam Northam walks readers through the steps of doing it in-house by cultivating existing talent, hardware, and tools.
And last but not least, Benjamin Johnson recommends repurposing the freely available Google Voice as the backbone for sophisticated telecommunications operations on a proverbial dime.
Our columnists provide many other tips for coping with what is not the Great Depression, but rather an economic downturn that continues to feel as though it’s the next closest thing.
If you are attending SLA or ALA this month, please drop by the Information Today, Inc. booth to say “hello.” As always, we’ll be handing out free samples of CIL as well as our other magazines and newsletters, all written to help librarians and information professionals do their jobs better, in good times and bad.
Dick Kaser, Executive Editor