The inspiration from this post came from this quote:

While I couldn’t agree more that IT organizations need a track where technical excellence is rewarded with a solid career path, I still think those technical experts need to spend real time with business peers. ( Practical Analysis: Reaquaint Yourself With Your Changing Business by Art Wittman)

In recent years I have seen the blending of library and IT due to the fact that digital information is growing.  This forced collaboration has not always been comfortable.

Librarians as a general rule enjoy working with others and try to make all relationships work.  (Note: as a general rule…there are those of us who just want to get down to business and avoid the touchy feely stuff.)  IT, as a general rule, has seemed more comfortable with the technology than the technology users.  Taking the strengths of both and blending them to benefit business is the ideal situation.

Each service provider, and librarians and IT truly are service providers, must recognize the strengths and weaknesses of their colleagues and partner to maximize business investments.

Understanding how users seek and apply information is the librarian specialty, providing the technological infrastructure to deliver the information is the IT domain.  Users don’t care who is making it happen behind the scenes as long as they get the data they expect and need when they hit enter to send their search to the data wasteland.

Collaboration between IT and Librarians is becoming smoother.  IT is learning how informaiton users seek and apply content.  Librarians are raising their awareness of the infrastructure and programming demands on making search work.  Optimizing the skills of both groups to deliver content efficiently is good business.

If your organization is not combining business goals with content management practices, you are using resources inefficiently.  In the current economic climate businesses should be assessing internal practices, evaluating current information resources and ensuring the collaboration of IT, librarians and business peers to maximize resources.

The collegial relationships that are growing between the tech and management side of information is a strong company asset.  Are you using it for your benefit?

Constance Ard May 27, 2009