October 14, 2008, 11:54 AM ET
Tech Therapy: Why Can't Librarians and IT Departments Just Get Along?
The latest edition of Tech Therapy covers the differences and similarities between library and IT staff, and discusses why these two groups can’t get along.
The differences? Start with gender: Librarians are stereotypically female, and IT staff members are stereotypically male. Libraries have a long tradition, while IT departments are relatively new. Libraries are very mission-driven, IT departments less so.
But the similarities are striking. “There are three major industries that refer to their customers as ‘users’: IT, libraries, and illicit drugs,” says Tech Therapy’s co-host, Warren Arbogast. Going deeper, both IT staff members and librarians often feel like second-class citizens on campuses. Both groups inhabit a rapidly-changing work environment. Both have insecurities about the future of their professions.
Unlike most Tech Therapy episodes, this episode does not end with any grand conclusions or answers. Give us your thoughts on the differences between IT departments and libraries, and why there is a rift between these two groups. —Scott Carlson