This post at Information Overlord caught my eye. We’ve been discussing for a while the best way to incorporate some business continuity planning into the library service: ie, what would happen if one of the two of us (who a lot of the time function as solo librarians, dealing with the issues arising in our own offices with little or no reference to the other) was suddenly unable to work.
Or, even worse, if one of use decided to leave!! *takes moment to lie down and stop hyperventilating at thought of boss ever leaving*
The structure of the company, the core duties of each staff member, the procedures needed for each activity, the suppliers we use, the products we take, the codes we use, who to ask internally for various things, data on the special professional interests of each fee earner…all information essential to getting our jobs done, but if and when one person isn’t there, is the other person fully equipped with information to continue without them for any length of time?
So, in order to try and get some of this sorted out before it would ever be needed, we’re thinking about perhaps using a wiki as an online staff handbook.
- Large volume of information / documentation stored without taking up large amounts of physical space.
- Easily editable.
- Always the ‘current’ version.
- Restrictions on user access to prevent tampering.
- Availability off site, essential if staff are unable to access buildings / offices.
- Would allow new staff to familiarise themselves with basic company / service information before starting role. (although this would cause issues with security, would need to investigate whether parts of wikis are lockable / hideable, or whether it would need to be a separate ‘Handbook Lite’ version)
- Without a current Library staff handbook, a lot of time will need to be invested to get the relevant information onto a wiki.
- It will only be useful if maintained, so staff would need to be committed to maintaining it properly and updating regularly as information changes.
- Possibility of it being hacked into, and sensitive information accessed.
Hmmm…much to think about, and lots of ‘normal’ work to be done before attempting this. It’s an ongoing problem: so much daily work to do that you never get the time to do the preventative work!