From Unsure to Confident: The Value of the IUG

 

This guest blog post comes to us from Renee Brumett, Electronic Resources Librarian, Springfield-Greene County Library District, 2018 IUG Vice Chair, and 2019 IUG Chair.

Overwhelmed and unsure.

That described me at my first Innovative Users Group conference in 2010. System administrator at my library for a whopping 7 months, I didn’t know the difference between the SCAT table and a load profile. I regularly took the scenic route in the character-based system. I was comfortable freeing locked records and opening service commitments for broken holds, but most other problems sent me scurrying to the documentation to first learn how things were supposed to work. I cringed at the words “software engineering,” and I lived in fear of discovering the Millennium transaction file had backed up and brought the system to a halt.

I was aware of the Innovative Users Group, but had little idea of the depth of resources available. I would read questions and comments on the listserv and feel in over my head. I arrived at the conference intimidated by even the session titles. I knew exactly one other person, and I feared opening my mouth and having someone immediately recognize I was New. And hopelessly ignorant.

Fast forward 8 years.

I now have the privilege of serving as the Vice Chair of this amazing users group. I’ve coordinated the enhancements process, spent years as a Functional Expert (try explaining that title to someone outside IUG), presented programs, and contributed to the listserv and forums. I now consider the IUG conference one of the highlights of my year.

I am not only comfortable with my daily duties as system administrator, I am confident in them. I still have much to learn, but there isn’t much that terrifies me anymore. I’ve managed a migration to Sierra, a migration from turnkey to hosted, scores of new product implementations, and countless beta updates. I’ve debated with the Help Desk, griped at product managers, and tormented account managers.

And IUG has made the difference.

The individuals that make up the membership of this organization are some of the most supportive, intelligent, and creative people I’ve known. So my challenge to you is to get involved. New or Not-so-new, there’s a place for you. Come to the conference. Volunteer your time. Ask questions. Offer answers. Contribute to the forums. Participate in Idea Lab. IUG will grow stronger because of it, and you won’t regret it.

Because of IUG, I’m not overwhelmed and unsure anymore. I’m confident and grateful.

 

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