Wednesday, April 2, 2008

What does a library technologies coordinator do?

Mostly I just panic.

Seriously though - this is a new position at JCU Library and although there are some clear goals it's also clear that the job, like the technologies themselves, will evolve with the library's requirements.

My current major projects are listed (and occasionally described) on the JCU Library Intranet (JustUs) in the technology sub site I'm developing.

Away from specific projects I see my role as:
  • liaising between the Library and Information Technology & Resources
  • a sounding board for staff (within and without the library) on issues involving the intersection of IT and IM
  • helping the library pick tech 'winners'
  • sharing and building knowledge, and helping and encouraging library staff to develop their IT skills
  • trying to get a handle on what's happening in library technology globally, nationally and locally and determining best fits
  • coordinating projects that contribute to the Library's strategic goals
  • identifying opportunities for the library to contribute to the universities strategic goals
The challenge is the volume of possibilities weighed against the limited resources we have to investigate or implement them. As a small institution early adoption of new technologies is a risk attractor for us. But it's a fine line between caution and inaction. And as Heather Gordon has stated - we can't keep providing new services without addressing what services we no longer need to provide.

My other challenge is communicating with library staff. I worry that a constant stream of emails make you invisible, but blogs and intranets are too passive. It's up to me to build relationships where our staff are comfortable seeking information and assistance as well as mechanisms where staff know what's happening with library tech, when they need to know it. Suggestions and thoughts most welcome.

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