You present some interesting questions. I think the answers you get might
depend entirely on what you define as the role of librarians in IT. For
instance, yes library IT professionals do have a role in PC support in
libraries, and sadly printing still takes up a lot of our time. These types
of skills are translatable across the IT industry. However, when you are
considering the role of IT librarians in the support and distribution of
online resources, the skills are much different. If I may explain, to
assist reference librarians in designing information delivery mechanisms
(ie- library catalogs, patron APIs, proxied databases, etc) we IT
librarians must have a thorough knowledge of how patrons gather and consume
information, and often we are required to anticipate information needs,
skills which an MLIS is great at developing but skills which traditional IT
professionals may lack.
Based on the assumption that most Directors of library IT more than likely
delegate PC support, I presume a good library IT director would do best to
know more about the about "Library IT" rather than "Traditional IT."
However I am always open to changing my opinion.
All the best,
Craig Boman, MLIS (Ph.D student)
Applications Support Specialist
University of Dayton Libraries
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On Wed, Sep 3, 2014 at 3:18 PM, Michael B. Klein <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I was talking this afternoon with a friend of mine about what makes a good
> Director of Library IT. Does the job lie more within librarianship or IT?
> (Depends on the library.) Is there a natural separation between the
> "Library IT" of ILS/MARC/e-resource/circ. technology maintenance and the
> "Traditional IT" of network management, staff and public workstation
> provisioning, telecom, etc? (Also depends on the library.)
> I know a lot gets said (here and elsewhere) about Technology for Librarians
> - important skills and standards, what's
> important/useful/trending/ignorable, and the like. But I'd love to start a
> discussion (or join one, if it already exists elsewhere) about the other
> side of things - the library-specific stuff that experienced IT folks might
> need to learn or get used to to be successful in a library environment. Not
> just technical stuff like MARC, but also ethical issues like fair use,
> information privacy, freedom of access, and the like.
> Of course there are plenty of snarky answers, and I welcome them all, but
> some constructive input would be nice, too. :-) I hope to compile a "So
> You're an Experienced IT Worker/Administrator Who Wants to Work in a
> Library?" wiki page with pointers to resources.
> So there's my vague intro. Have at it, code4lib.