Library experiences

LITA/ALA Survey of Library Response to COVID-19

The Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) and its ALA partners are seeking a new round of feedback about the work of libraries as they respond to the COVID-19 crisis, releasing a survey and requesting feedback by 11:59 p.m. CDT, Monday, May 18, 2020. Please complete the survey by clicking on the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/libraries-respond-to-covid-19-may-2020.  LITA and its ALA partners know that libraries across the United States are taking unprecedented steps to answer the needs of their communities, and this survey will help build a better understanding of those efforts. LITA and its ALA partners will use the results to advocate on behalf of libraries at the national level, communicate aggregated results with the public and media, create content and professional development opportunities to address library staff needs, and share some raw, anonymized data elements with state-level staff and library support organizations for their own advocacy needs.  Additional information about…

Education

Data Privacy While Working From Home

Today’s guest post is brought to you by our recent presenter, Becky Yoose. Special thanks to Becky for being willing to answer the questions we didn’t have time for during our webinar! Hello everyone from your friendly neighborhood library data privacy consultant! We covered a lot of material earlier this month in “A Crash Course in Protecting Library Data While Working From Home,” co-sponsored by LITA and OIF. We had a number of questions during the webinar, some of which were left unanswered at the end. Below are three questions in particular that we didn’t get to in the webinar. Enjoy! Working from home without a web-based ILS We don’t have a web-based version of our ILS and our County-based IT department says they can’t set up remote desktop (something to do with their firewall)… do you have any recommendations on how to advocate for remote desktop? If I have…

Library experiences

Strategies for Surviving a Staffing Crisis

Library staff are no strangers to budget and staffing reductions. Most of us have way too much experience doing more with less, covering unfilled positions, and rigging solutions out of the digital equivalent of chewing gum and bailing wire, because we can’t afford to buy all the tools we need. In the last two years, my department at Northern Arizona University’s Cline Library operated with roughly half the usual amount of staff. In this post, I’ll share a few strategies that helped us get through this challenging time. First, a quick introduction. My department, Content, Discovery & Delivery services, includes the digital services unit (formerly library technology services) as well as collection management (including electronic resources management), acquisitions, cataloging, physical processing, interlibrary loan and document delivery, and course reserves. We are a technology-intensive department, both as users and implementers/supporters of technology. Here are some of the strategies we used to…

Library experiences

LibTech Leadership: An Interview with ALA Leadership Institute Attendee Jennifer Chan

In 2018, LITA offered its first-ever scholarship to the ALA Leadership Institute to Jennifer Chan—Scholarly Communication Librarian at the UCLA Library. Ms. Chan’s work has focused on alt- and bibliometrics, research impact, open access, and the Affordable Course Materials Initiative, involving targeted outreach with campus partners to promote open education strategies. The generosity of LITA’s 2017 fundraising donors made it possible for her to attend one of the country’s premiere professional development opportunities for library leadership this past August. What sparked your interest in the Institute? I came across the call for participants about a year prior to actually applying. I was researching programs and opportunities for professional development to enhance my leadership skills and quickly developed the impression that while such programs existed, there did not appear to be many designed for my current stage of career development. The ALA Leadership Institute offered the right fit for my needs….

Library experiences

IT Centralization: Impact on Academic Libraries, Part 2

IT centralization graphic

Authors’ notes: This post is co-authored by Kelly Sattler, Head of Web Services, Michigan State University. It is part two of a two-part series on IT centralization and academic libraries.This post talks about how to respond to centralization and what to expect in the longer term.  Part one discusses what to expect when a centralization initiative begins.   Image source: creative commons licensed (BY-ND 2.0) Flickr photo by Andrea NIgels: https://flic.kr/p/6KsA7U.  How to respond to centralization As we said in part 1 of this two-part series on IT centralization, change is hard. Change that makes people fear for their jobs and threatens their professional identities is really hard. We have some advice based on our experiences that may help you cope if IT centralization comes to your campus. Before centralization The best thing you can do to prepare for centralization is something that is good to do for other reasons as well: make…

Library experiences

IT Centralization: Impact on Academic Libraries

IT centralization graphic

Authors’ notes: This post is co-authored by Kelly Sattler, Head of Web Services, Michigan State University. It is part one of a two-part series on IT centralization and academic libraries.This post will define IT centralization and talk about what to expect when a centralization initiative begins.  Part two, coming in January, will address how to respond to centralization and what to expect in the longer term. Image free from pixabay.  As university budgets continue to be squeezed by increasing costs and decreasing funding, university administrators scour the campus to find ways to make operations more efficient. IT is a frequent target for these exercises, as it is both ubiquitous and expensive. Often, initiatives to centralize IT functions and personnel are undertaken in order to coordinate and standardize services and equipment, theoretically increasing efficiency and reducing costs. Because academic libraries are IT-intensive, centralization can have a significant impact on library staff…