library IT’s approach to managing tech support

your library IT’s approach to managing tech support within the framework of moving IT projects forward. Also, how big is your IT team vs your staff?

We have created an environment at our library where staff anticipate almost instant tech support. While this is great for our staff and patrons it’s proven not so great for the IT department as our IT projects that must get done take longer than they should and seem to roll endlessly. It can feel like we’re sacrificing the “big boulders” for endless minutia.

I wondered if you all could tell me your library IT’s approach to managing tech support within the framework of moving IT projects forward.

Also, how big is your IT team vs your staff?

Thank you,
Madeleine  Madeleine Sturmer IT Manager | Teton County Library msturmer@tclib.org | 307.733.2164 x143

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While the responses will vary widely based on size, type and IT-issues approaches, I can share one.

Providence College is a private, medium-sized (4,300 FTE students) Masters-I institution.

Our library is a fully integrated (horizontally and vertically) Commons (Library+Commons = no silos, traditional+technology-rich, open 116 hours/week for a primarily residential campus.

IT issues are tiered (e.g., 1-5 in complexity) and we have in-house IT specialists (two – one M-F days, one S-Th evenings) and many “back-up specialists”.  The IT specialists handle most tiers-1-3 issues (sometimes tier 4) very promptly and refer tier 4-5 issues to central IT.  All Library+Commons staff are hired with “relative high-tech/digital expertise, so that there is an articulated in-house IT team.  This means that most IT issues are handled in-house and promptly.  Library+Commons IT reports up to the Assistant Director and Head of Technology & Access.

Russell Bailey, Ph.D.     Professor & Library Director, Providence College  http://www.providence.edu/library  http://works.bepress.com/d_r_bailey/ http://www.providence.edu/library/faculty/Pages/drbailey.aspx

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the biggest challenge (and the most important) is to get the word out to the staff about how it works.  I spoke at multiple all staff meetings about the process, put out a lot of documentation, and spoke at multiple meetings of various teams and departments to get the word out.  Once you have a structure you have to support and enforce it.  Getting your administration on board is vital-if the director or associate director thinks that they can “jump the queue” it won’t work.  They have to understand that for the good of the whole, they might have to wait for something that is non-emergency.

Hope that helps-glad to provide further info offline if needed.

Carolyn Carolyn Coulter PrairieCat LLSAP Services Manager / PrairieCat Director Reaching Across Illinois Library System Coal Valley Office Phone: 309.623.4176 Fax: 309.517.1567 carolyn.coulter@railslibraries.info
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more on technology in the library in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=library+technology

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