Partly me, partly a string of extremely negative interactions with community users. I will certainly turn it into a case study for LIS 668 “Digital Curation and Collections” on how not to run a community resource.
The me part: Like everyone, I’ve been living through a global pandemic, a race reckoning, and a mess of hate-related politics that affects me both professionally and personally. Add to that a string of emergency new course preps (one or more per year for the last four years!), and I simply haven’t had time or brainspace for RADD chores like updating documentation and checking machine function.
The negative interactions part: I won’t venture to guess why, but I will say that every single RADD community user I have interacted with since returning to campus has been entitled, insulting, rude, or all three. A faculty member called it “a mess back there”—which it is, for the reasons I just gave—to my face, yet still insisted that I interrupt my day to teach him how to use it. A staff member, on being informed by iSchool Library staff that RADD was closed indefinitely, yelled at them, “Do you know how ridiculous you sound? I’m embarrassed for you!”
Let me be crystal clear: RADD is my project. I built it. I poured thousands of dollars of my own professional-development money into it. I maintain it, when I can. Its use policies are mine, and use happens on my sole terms. I opened (parts of) it to community use in gratitude for community help in building it—but that help stopped years ago, to be replaced largely by entitlement and abuse, which is absolutely unacceptable.
I have “write new RADD policies” on my to-do list, but it’s an ALA-accreditation cycle for the master’s program in LIS, and I have two summer courses to teach, so who knows when I will get to it. I do know two things:
- Treat me or anyone in the iSchool Library rudely or peremptorily, lose RADD privileges permanently. I simply will not put up with this. There is no reason I should.
- Training will no longer be gratis, and it will be scheduled (exactly how I haven’t decided yet). Those who need my time and expertise need to pay at least a nominal charge for it, and it needs to happen on a defined schedule rather than via random interruptions.
I am both sorry and angry that matters escalated this far. I’d rather continue to provide service to community users! I cannot, however, do so in the current laissez-faire fashion, because it harms iSchool Library staff as well as me myself.
If you recognize yourself in this post, I am open to sincere apologies.