Convergence of Libraries and Technology Organizations

Convergence of Libraries and Technology Organizations

New Information Support Models

1st Edition - June 15, 2011

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  • Author: Christopher Barth
  • eBook ISBN: 9781780632629

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This book describes and discusses the convergence of library and technology support in higher education. Over the past 15 years, a number of institutions have pursued merging library and technology services into a single information support organization. These mergers have taken different forms, but all seek to redefine information support in a 21st century model that promotes the interdisciplinary use of information. The coming years will see significant change affect libraries with the continuing disruption of the Internet and digitally-based services. Coupled with economic pressures, libraries and technology organizations will increasingly be forced to look closely at long-held assumptions of how their teams are organized and how work is divided and shared. Convergence of Libraries and Technology Organizations provides useful and practical guidance on converged information organizations as an effective response to change in the information profession.

Key Features

  • One of the most complete assessments of converged support models available
  • Designed to both allow assessment of the application of a converged model, and discussion of successful implementations
  • Includes experiences, perspectives, and examples from many leaders in converged information support organizations


Information professionals; Practitioners and students of Library and Information Science

Table of Contents

  • List of figures

    About the author


    Chapter 1: Context for convergence: Arriving at the delta


    A new economy with information as currency

    A glance over our shoulders: evolution of an information economy

    Evolution of a service economy

    Evolution of converged information service organizations

    Rocks all around

    The old rules don’t apply

    Rules of the river

    The sweet spot

    Chapter 2: Assessing possibilities for convergence: Reading the river


    Why converge?

    Motivating factors for convergence

    Summary of motivations

    Benefits of convergence

    Challenges ahead

    The organizational context of information support

    Key considerations

    Chapter 3: Professional culture and politics: Conflict at the helm


    Core values

    Values of library professionals

    Values of technology professionals

    Connections: common values

    Differentiating contexts

    Key considerations

    Chapter 4: Staffing for convergence: Crew selection


    The importance of leadership

    The staff

    Watching for the silver lining

    Staff duties in the converged organization

    Staffing vacancies

    Human resource considerations

    Don’t forget the students

    Key considerations

    Chapter 5: Specialization versus generalization: Crew assignments



    Generalization and specialization

    Key considerations

    Chapter 6: Organizational design in converged organizations: Streamlining the vessel


    Alignment within the institution

    Physical representations of convergence

    Virtual representations of convergence

    Team structures

    Resource allocation and application

    Reducing redundancy

    Strategic planning

    Marketing and the web

    Developing an organizational design

    Key considerations

    Chapter 7: The process of converging: Riding the river



    A case for convergence

    Hallmarks of design: vision

    Hallmarks of design: collaboration

    Hallmarks of design: transparency

    Hallmarks of design: process

    Evolution vs. revolution

    On the ground: ten keys for deployment

    Key considerations

    Chapter 8: Future evolutions of information service organizations: Around the bend in the river


    Print collections

    Data collections

    The research process


    The cloud



    User interfaces

    The future is converged

    References and further reading


Product details

  • No. of pages: 194
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Chandos Publishing 2011
  • Published: June 15, 2011
  • Imprint: Chandos Publishing
  • eBook ISBN: 9781780632629

About the Author

Christopher Barth

Christopher D. Barth works as the Executive Director of Library and Information Services at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, USA. He has 10 years of experience working in ‘merged’ library/technology organizations and is beginning his fourth year leading a merged library/IT team. Previously he worked as Director of Information Resources at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, USA, and as Librarian at the Anchorage Daily News in Anchorage, Alaska, USA. He has previously published a history of Kenyon College titled Kenyon Reborn.

Affiliations and Expertise

Luther College, USA

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