Heads of Library Technology (HoLT) Interest Group

The Heads of Library Technology Interest Group (HoLT IG) meeting began (1/22 @ 10:30AM) with an introduction and announcements by Sue Thompson, Chair. The mission of this interest group is “Established in 2001 and renewed in 2004. To provide a forum and support network for those individuals with administrative responsibility for computing and technology in a library setting. Programs and discussions will explore issues of planning and implementation, management and organization, support, technology leadership and other areas of interest to library technology managers and administration.“

The meeting proceeded with brief introductions [Blogger comment – I may not have heard some of the names or institutions correctly – humblest apologies]. Sue Thompson – Chair, Carlos Rodriguez – Vice Chair, George (maybe Byron?) – Temple University, Frank – Northwestern, Allen – Purdue University, Scott – Eastern Michigan, Lynn – Appalachian State University, Richard – UT Southwestern (blogger), Scott -University of Colorado at Boulder, Mandi – University of Delaware, Sara – University of Oregon, Paul – University of Arizona Health Sciences Library, Phyllis – University of Michigan, Jim – a Library Technology Consultant, Mark – VP of Small Company, Alice – Cataloger @ NLM, Michelle – Anne Arundel CC, Patricia – Columbia, Howard – Brooklyn College, Bill – NYU, Mary Ann – ? public library, – John – Virginia Commonwealth Libraries.

The next section of our meeting was HoLTalk and the discussion question was “What technologies do library system departments typically support and how do we manage them?” The topic was introduced by Sue Thompson. Another attendee suggested that perhaps we can spend our HoLTalk discussion time by answering some of the questions that came up in the introductions. This was received well all around so we proceeded down that path.

We started with desktop management issues. A few libraries use Centurion Guard to protect their desktops. DeepFreeze is another option. You can also simply re-image a PC if it’s not easily fixed. Some of our libraries don’t lock staff PC’s down with security. Wyse or Citrix thin clients were suggested as security options.

One attendee mentioned that they track licensing using AuditWizard. Another asked “Why is there a licensing issue anyway? Usually you need a registration key or to pay for the software after 30 days.” Another attendee explained that it’s because people bring their home copies into work. Nobody has actually been audited by the software police [yet].

Every system department represented supports desktop software. A few only support library-centric desktop software. One library mentioned KeyServer for licensing. Staff are responsible for what’s on their PC’s. They and we and our institutions can be held legally liable for unlicensed software.

Brooklyn College has a faculty technology training area led by a non-student technical person. Some libraries use Para-technical professionals to assist with faculty training. There is also a faculty training area at NYU.

What about print charging? Is it really cost effective? One suggestion was to encourage patrons to use email. In one library, printing went down 60% after print charging was implemented. Duplex printing was used by several libraries. There were several comments about print charging dramatically cutting down on waste.

Anger and frustration has been growing with one attendee’s system department. Library staff ask “Can you do this project?” If it’s not a priority, it may never get done. They developed a project plan methodology. However, he doesn’t like the project police mentality. But he doesn’t like a free form system either. Michigan uses a collaborative system of project management. They publish their project list. The system is very open and projects are discussed quite a bit in committees. Another library does collaborative prioritizing for projects, bug fixes, etc. also.

What help desk packages are being used? FootPrints software is used at several libraries. Remedy and HelpStar were a couple of other help desk packages mentioned. They are quite high-end and can be hard to learn and use.

What are the specific projects that we are working on? How do they get prioritized? One library systems department tries to do projects and tasks with the greatest impact. Another attendee mentioned that projects get prioritized within the context of the strategic plan. One library usually tries to follow up on new, hot things no matter how busy they might be.

A LITA Business section of the meeting followed. LITA membership is down. Can we open this interest group up to non-LITA members? Can we open it to non-ALA members? In another (LITA, non-HoLT) meeting, one Co-Chair scared off a non-LITA member yesterday one attendee reported.

HoLT IG business was the final section of the meeting. Our Annual Program will be “Core Competencies in Library Technology: What IT is and Where IT’s going.” The program is currently listed at 8:00 AM to12:00 PM on Sunday. We agreed upon a 2 hour presentation followed by discussion and a business meeting. The target audience is library managers and also anybody interested in staff technical training issues. The size of the potential audience was estimated at 200. Finally, we discussed some potential publicity venues such as listservs, the LITA blog, and email announcements.

Carlos Rodriguez is the incoming Chair. We need candidates for Vice Chair for the next cycle. Michelle Robertson submitted her name for consideration. Please forward ideas for programs, publications, etc. for next year to Carlos.

Since we ran out of time, other items will be discussed on our listserv. Member names will be published on our HoLT IG website unless Sue is directed otherwise (by individual attendees). Some pictures from the meeting will follow.

HoLT Attendees - I

HoLT Attendees - II

HoLT Attendees - III

HoLT Attendees - IV

HoLT Attendees - V