Libraries and IT departments

In a recent blog post, educationalist John Connell raised the issue of what he described as the “IT head-lock” in Scottish local authorities. Referring to the education sector’s difficulties with IT departments, John notes “…the almost complete professional and attitudinal disconnect in most Scottish local authorities between those who manage the corporate IT networks and those who want to deliver a 21st century ICT experience to learners and teachers.”

Since the CILIPS and SLIC Web 2.0 experimentation commenced, the Information Team has been concerned about the disparity of access to the constituent services across library and information services. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this problem largely affects those on local authority networks, working within public and school libraries.

However, we’d like to get a more accurate view of the situation across sectors. Can you relate to the above comment about the relationship with your IT department? Are there services within the CILIPS/SLIC Web 2.0 package that you can’t access at work?**

We’re already aware of some exceptions within public libraries – East Lothian Libraries have a flickr account and East Renfrewshire Libraries (log-in required to access link) are on Facebook. Are there any others out there? We’d be particularly interested to hear about how libraries and librarians across sectors have managed to work with IT departments to resolve access issues.

**We appreciate that some CILIPS and SLIC members may not be able to access this post and are currently considering alternative methods of consulting our membership on this issue.

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3 Responses

  1. Here in Dundee we can certainly identify with John Connell’s comments. We can access some, but not all, blogs – many of the ones in your blogroll are blocked; we cannot access any of the social networking sites; we can’t use many sites like e.g. slideshare; and multimedia is erratic. And it’s even worse for pupils who cannot access some things to which we are grudgingly given access e.g. Flickr

  2. Having had the challenging position of liaising with most, if not all, IT departments in local authorities at some point over the last 5 years I can sympathise with librarians out there who want to be part of an ever changing information landscape and give their customers access to a dynamic ‘a la mode’ service.

    There are, however, a number of professionals who either don’t want any part of, or, are fearful of technology.
    This can become incumbent on the service they deliver and how they communicate, strongly, their needs and desires to IT departments.

    It is imperative for information workers to enjoy working in their chosen profession, with all it’s chameleon like twists and gain a voice in their organisation to demand what is necessary to do the job and to develop services for a technologically evolved customer.

  3. Although we cannot access a lot of these resources on our corporate network – we *can* access them on our public `peoples` network. IT would, i’d imagine have problems with unblocking Youtube etc on `corporate` machines – but our public machines are on a seperate network that they’re more flexible with.

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