LITA 2004 National Forum Preconferences

Preconference 1:  Developing a Culture of Assessment in Library Information Technology Services

Thursday, October 7 1:30 - 5:00 p.m.

Presented by:  H. Frank Cervone, Assistant University Librarian for Information Technology, Northwestern University

Just as libraries are increasingly being called upon to demonstrate their impact on their services and outcomes of their parent institution or community, information technology services within the Library must be able to do the same. A critical component in making this happen is to adopt a model of continuous service assessment that uses user-centered decision making in order to gather relevant requirements data and information. In 2002, the Information Technology Division of the Northwestern University Library began adopting a continuous assessment model for decision-making and service provisioning. Learn what the forces were that caused us to adopt a culture of assessment, what a culture of assessment is, how our goals and work environment have been influenced by this change, how this had led to the adoption of a new method of thinking and supporting services within the Library, and what you can do to get started with this methodology.

Preconference 2:  What's In It For Me? Evaluating and Reporting the Effectiveness of Electronic Information Services in a Multi-Library Environment

Friday, October 8 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 Noon

Presented by:

Beverley Shirley, Director Library Resource Sharing, Texas State Library & Archives Commission

Dr. William E. Moen, Associate Professor, School of Library & Information Sciences, University of North Texas

Denise M. Davis, Director, Office of Research & Statistics, American Library Association

The Library of Texas is a partnership of Texas libraries using standards-based, metasearching software to provide the citizens of Texas access to multiple information resources. Originally funded through a grant, the program is now supported by a combination of federal funds, state funds, and membership fees. Evaluation is an integral and ongoing component of the Library of Texas. Attention must be paid to A) selection of appropriate measures to report to governmental agencies, members, and funding bodies; B) accurate measurement of output, outcome, and efficiencies; D) data continuity to enable longitudinal comparisons; E) compilation of data to meet local, regional, statewide, and national reporting needs.  In such an environment, it becomes vitally important to automate data collection and compilation to maximize accuracy and minimize amount of staff time devoted to "number crunching."  Using the Library of Texas project as a case study, this presentation will discuss how library consortia can best answer the questions: What do I measure?  How should I measure it?  How can I automate the evaluation process?

Preconference 3:  Dancing Cheek to Cheek:  A Library's Tale of Content Management Systems and Collaborations with "Outside" IT

Friday, October 8 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 Noon

Presented by:

Brandon A. Barnett, MLS, Electronic Resources Librarian, Multnomah County Library

Michael O. Hanna, Data Administration DBA, Multnomah County Information Technology

Michael J. Spicer, Content Management System Administrator, Multnomah County Information Technology

During a multi-year process, Multnomah County is moving its Internet and intranet sites into a Content Management System (CMS). Multnomah County Library staff worked closely with county IT to plan the project, select a CMS product and vendor, plan and execute a pilot site (the library's intranet), and create an overall structure for the entire project.  In doing so, the staff developed strong collaborative working relationships, built a model for the remaining phases of the project, and demonstrated the importance of information professionals' participation in technology projects.

Most libraries across the nation are part of some larger organization, such as a county, a service district, or a university.  Increasingly, these organizations are consolidating and centralizing Information Technology services.  Libraries are finding that their IT is no longer really theirs, and yet so many new, innovative projects and services are heavily dependent upon IT involvement.

Shortly after just such a consolidation, Multnomah County (Portland, OR) embarked on a Content Management System project, with Multnomah County Library leading the pilot project.  We, the library team, quickly understood that we were not only building a model for the CMS but also a model for working with an "outside" IT department.

This pre-conference will focus on the collaborative working relationships we developed, the various planning processes, and the nuts-n-bolts of a
CMS project.