• September 4, 2015

Episode 68: How Librarians and IT Officials Can Get Along

Susan Gibbons, vice provost and dean of the University of Rochester's River Campus Libraries, tells the Tech Therapists how she and a colleague repaired a longstanding rift between librarians and techies.

Scott Carlson, a Chronicle reporter, and Warren Arbogast, a technology consultant who works with colleges, talk about the headaches, anxieties, and general problems you might be having with technology on your college campus. Look for new installments every other Thursday.


1. robynsc - March 25, 2010 at 08:36 am

is there a transcript for this??

2. demery1 - March 25, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Following Robin, would you please provide a transcript for this?

3. wmfxir2 - March 25, 2010 at 12:36 pm

A volume control would be appropriate, especially since these podcasts seem to be on the loud side with my PC volume control set at the mid-point. I guess the real lesson here is that I should be listening to these on my Mac with easy and quick volume control readily available.

4. sgibbons30 - March 26, 2010 at 09:28 am

My fishing/fisher metaphor really doesn't convey my thoughts well. Here is a better way to put it: if suddenly the number of visits to an IT Help Desk went way up, that would, I think, be considered bad and would likely signal that there is a problem with a major system on campus, such as the authentication or printng system. If, however, the number of visits to the Library Reference Desk went up, librarians would consider that a sign of success. It is this reality that reveals a very different orientation in service and mission between libraries and IT.

5. bjgeorge - March 26, 2010 at 02:19 pm

I am the Director of a cultural institution in a nonacademic setting. IT is mission critical to the institution. I subscribe to the CofHE because I get good information. This would be an example. I appreciate gaining an understanding of the utility level of computing versus the specific institutional contexts in which computing can be applied. Also, there were several other good points made in the discussion.

6. lisa_l_spangenberg - March 29, 2010 at 06:31 pm

I'd be really happy if people would stop referring to technical workers as "techies." It's not helpful.

7. zambellab - March 30, 2010 at 10:24 am

Dear Susan,
Re: your comment in #4. The distinction I always make between the desks is that the Reference desk is a desk of first resort--we hope you'll start with us, whereas the IT Help desk is often structured as a desk of last resort ("what have you already tried? did you uninstall/reinstall the operating system?").

8. webwebster - March 30, 2010 at 03:39 pm

Adamson brought out a lot of these same thoughts in 1993. I provided a link to a journal that might interest you, the edition was titled, "Infovision". This is a person that comes from both sides, libraries and computer science and has articulated in a number of editions this whole concept.

Worth a read.


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