IL2006 Day 1: Synergy for Better Services: IT and Library Cultures

Kathryn Deiss – Content Strategist, ACRL
Matt Gullett, Technology Education Librarian, PLCMC

New technologies are changing possibilities and roles for both IT and library cultures and for library customers.

The players/actors: IT, Librarians, Customers…

Gave some definitions of organizational culture

Discussed definition of “we” – sometimes it’s IT, sometimes it’s MLS holders. It needs to be both!

Historic common ground – IT and library cultures share:

  • desire to do the right thing
  • intention to create security and integrity of systems, networks, etc
  • concern for stability of systems and services created
  • hard work to develop services for others

Tension (especially the emerging environment):

  • disruption is the norm (external environment)
  • customer create their own solutions (web 2.0)
  • diverging cultures

Discussed a study comparing Dunkin Donuts vs Starbucks customers… they are very different!

Peculiarities of each group:

  • mls – focused on process and discussion
  • IT – closed in their approach to sharing info for specific reasons – not because of mal-intent or evil motive

quick discussion of the terms user/customer/patron/public…

Perceptions of the customer:

  • library – the customer as primarily using physical product and services
  • IT view

IT sees librarians:

  1. underestimating the complexity of technoligies
  2. undervaluing the expertise of the highly knowledgeable technologist

Librarians see IT as: – over-complicating the easily accomplished; controlling the reins of technology to maintain power and sovereignty

Meanwhile, customers are inventing thier own environments – authority leaping, boundary leaping, learning-oriented

Ripe times for synergy – IT and Librarians need to work together…

Creating the “”new” is fun AND critical!