Friday, March 20, 2009

Library-IT Mergers in Academic Institutions

I came across this NERCOMP presentation a week or so ago, but I only got to go through it the other day. All I can say is that I wish that I had been able to attend the NERCOMP conference and this presentation in general because it's a project that I've been involved with at my campus.

No, my campus still maintains a separate library and IT group, however as a Management student I've worked on proposals for the Merger of the IT and the Library group and I've been an advocate for this merger for the last three or four years.

While I was doing my MBA, my team and I did an analysis of the (then) current conditions in our IT department and in our Library and we came up with a proposal to merge the two departments. The main idea was that it would:

(1) Save money;
(2) Make information services easier to access;
(3) Better reallocate resources on campus.

After all, both the IT department and the library deal with Information Resources. It doesn't matter if that information resource is a slide (you remember those 35mm slides in art class, don't you?), a paper newspaper, an electronic journal, help with the LMS or your email account, or just a place to go and print out your midterm.

A year later, once I had graduated from the MBA and I was a student in the MSIT program, my team and I (mock) project managed a small part of this merger with IT. The whole project is gargantuan in scope and to just change the reporting lines isn't a merger. The two departments need to work synergistically (shudder at the business jargon) in order to come to a new level of better customer service and efficient work in the back end (i.e. save money)

Anyway, I always love seeing similar projects and how they've worked out. It gives me ideas for the third iteration of this project at my campus - maybe I'll work on it as a PhD project ;-)


Thoughts?
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