I think Craig's comment about technologists in libraries needing to
understand how patrons gather and consume information points to something a
little bit bigger: most libraries differ from traditional IT companies in
that there are far fewer people to work on large tech projects. So
technologists need to have a better understanding of things that, in a tech
company, would probably be handled by project managers, content
strategists, or user experience designers. They are wearing way more hats,
and need to be involved in more of the conceptualizing and design parts of
IT projects, not just the programming.


[image: Laura Krier on]

Laura Krier

On Wed, Sep 3, 2014 at 12:50 PM, Craig Boman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hi Micheal,
> 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
> 937-229-3674
> [log in to unmask]
> 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.
> >
> > Michael
> >