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Convergence of Libraries and Technology Organizations. New Information Support Models. Chandos Information Professional Series

  • ID: 2719548
  • Book
  • June 2011
  • Elsevier Science and Technology

This book describes and discusses the convergence of library and technology support in higher education. Over the past 15 years, a number of institutions have pursued merging library and technology services into a single information support organization. These mergers have taken different forms, but all seek to redefine information support in a 21st century model that promotes the interdisciplinary use of information. The coming years will see significant change affect libraries with the continuing disruption of the Internet and digitally-based services. Coupled with economic pressures, libraries and technology organizations will increasingly be forced to look closely at long-held assumptions of how their teams are organized and how work is divided and shared. Convergence of Libraries and Technology Organizations provides useful and practical guidance on converged information organizations as an effective response to change in the information profession.

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List of figures

About the author


Chapter 1: Context for convergence: Arriving at the delta


A new economy with information as currency

A glance over our shoulders: evolution of an information economy

Evolution of a service economy

Evolution of converged information service organizations

Rocks all around

The old rules don't apply

Rules of the river

The sweet spot

Chapter 2: Assessing possibilities for convergence: Reading the river


Why converge?

Motivating factors for convergence

Summary of motivations

Benefits of convergence

Challenges ahead

The organizational context of information support

Key considerations

Chapter 3: Professional culture and politics: Conflict at the helm


Core values

Values of library professionals

Values of technology professionals

Connections: common values

Differentiating contexts

Key considerations

Chapter 4: Staffing for convergence: Crew selection


The importance of leadership

The staff

Watching for the silver lining

Staff duties in the converged organization

Staffing vacancies

Human resource considerations

Don't forget the students

Key considerations

Chapter 5: Specialization versus generalization: Crew assignments



Generalization and specialization

Key considerations

Chapter 6: Organizational design in converged organizations: Streamlining the vessel


Alignment within the institution

Physical representations of convergence

Virtual representations of convergence

Team structures

Resource allocation and application

Reducing redundancy

Strategic planning

Marketing and the web

Developing an organizational design

Key considerations

Chapter 7: The process of converging: Riding the river



A case for convergence

Hallmarks of design: vision

Hallmarks of design: collaboration

Hallmarks of design: transparency

Hallmarks of design: process

Evolution vs. revolution

On the ground: ten keys for deployment

Key considerations

Chapter 8: Future evolutions of information service organizations: Around the bend in the river


Print collections

Data collections

The research process


The cloud



User interfaces

The future is converged

References and further reading


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Christopher Barth Luther College, USA.

Christopher D. Barth works as the Executive Director of Library and Information Services at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, USA. He has 10 years of experience working in 'merged' library/technology organizations and is beginning his fourth year leading a merged library/IT team. Previously he worked as Director of Information Resources at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, USA, and as Librarian at the Anchorage Daily News in Anchorage, Alaska, USA. He has previously published a history of Kenyon College titled Kenyon Reborn.
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