Associate University Librarian for Public Services
Head, User Experience Department, Library
Chelcie Juliet Rowell
Digital Initiatives Librarian
Wake Forest University
Beth Forrest Warner
Associate Director for Information Technology
The Ohio State University
Head of Digital Initiatives
The Ohio State University
At the Threshold: New Strategies for Building Capacity (Ryan, Swindells)
At a juncture where staff in academic libraries need tomorrow’s skills today, the preponderance of human resources in many organizations still reflect yesterday’s competencies. Expanding capacity to support both ongoing work and new programmatic initiatives can be challenging. This session will describe how one academic library is tackling this problem, first by continuously assessing the needs of students and faculty through vibrant liaison and user experience programs, and surveying library staff to identify untapped skills and talents, and then by developing a training grid to address any gaps in organizational capacity. It also will suggest effective strategies for redeploying staff and providing them with new opportunities to grow and to contribute to the organization, while being mindful of the need to maintain, renew, and celebrate existing expertise. Finally, it will recommend additional strategies for identifying campus partners with whom to collaborate to raise the visibility of the library and accomplish institution-wide goals.
Designing the Technological Infrastructure to Support Digital Projects at Wake Forest University (Rowell)
Institutions of higher education and academic libraries are responding to the need to support faculty and students in their endeavors in digital scholarship. Z. Smith Reynolds Library is working to implement an infrastructure to support digital projects at Wake Forest University that is responsive to the particularities of the university’s context, mission, and scale. The aim is to provide a solution that is both scalable and sustainable, from simple course blogs to custom Web applications. The organization is designing a service called Build.ZSR that would provide server space as well as out-of-the-box support for certain platforms (e.g. WordPress, Omeka, Scalar), themes, and plug-ins to faculty free of charge. The service would be tiered, however. Should a more custom solution be desired, staff would consult with the faculty member or student and work with them to develop a clear service-level agreement. Existing in parallel with Find.ZSR, the library’s catalog, Build.ZSR, is intended to convey that the library is not just a place to seek information resources, but also a place to construct new knowledge. The purpose of this project briefing will be to share the organization’s process for conceptualizing and implementing Build.ZSR, from requirements analysis to the early stages of implementation.
Old Wine in New Bottles: Reframing Digital Initiatives at The Ohio State University Libraries (Warner, Reese)
The Ohio State University Libraries has a long history of making a rich range of digital cultural heritage information available. Recently, with new leadership in place, recognition of evolving user expectations, changes in technology, and evolving requirements to support the wide range of digitized and born digital assets, the Libraries realized it had reached an opportune point to reassess its digital initiatives strategy and status. Working with stakeholders, content providers, and the larger community, the Libraries has undergone a significant re-thinking of its basic strategy for digital initiatives beginning with development of core principles and a framework for a programmatic approach and consistent architecture across the organization. This has allowed us to more deliberately identify and fill policy and technical gaps, replace aging systems, and restructure how the Libraries handles the management and long-term preservation of digital content. Throughout this process, the organization has sought to take an honest, self-reflective approach to identify improvements. It has also served as an excellent opportunity to engage with the Libraries’ faculty and staff around issues related to long-term content preservation, discovery, shared resource development, workflows, and best practices by moving beyond historical issues of departmental autonomy and the organic nature of past projects. This talk will focus on the process, current outcomes, and next steps as the Libraries continue to work with faculty and staff to move this new vision forward.