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Readers Respond Copyright 1996 CAUSE. From _CAUSE/EFFECT_ Volume 19, Number 3, Fall 1996, pp. 54-56.

Permission to copy or disseminate all or part of this material is granted provided that the copies are not made or distributed for commercial advantage, the CAUSE copyright and its date appear, and notice is given that copying is by permission of CAUSE, the association for managing and using information resources in higher education. To disseminate otherwise, or to republish, requires written permission. For further information, contact Julia Rudy at CAUSE, 4840 Pearl East Circle, Suite 302E, Boulder, CO 80301 USA; 303-939-0308; e-mail: FALL 1996 READERS RESPOND QUESTION: Is your institution experiencing a crisis in support for information technology, in terms of both human and financial resources? How is your organization responding? What are some of the mechanisms that are working well? ANSWERS: The University of Houston, an urban campus of some 30,000 students, has approached the mushrooming demand for information technology support by enhancing its infrastructure and by bringing support closer to the user. Recently the campus has begun to standardize on several popular productivity tools. While these tools are not the solution for everyone on campus, Netscape, Eudora, and the Microsoft Office suite are favored by a large majority. Standardization allows support providers to become expert in these popular packages. A major program this year is to replace most faculty workstations below the 486- or Macintosh 68030-level. A similar program for administrative workstations will be initiated in fall 1996. Student workstations in IT laboratories, as well as an NT-based Instructional Support Network of file and print servers, are upgraded annually through funding provided by a student computer use fee. IT must take bold steps to ensure that user support avoids a crisis. Web development and all of the emerging technologies it encompasses demand a non-traditional support solution. While various IT departments are positioned to provide elements of this support, we are also exploring ways to partner with "cutting-edge" faculty to enrich Web support for the campus. IT now provides most of its technology support centrally. The UH academic officers recognize that the campus needs far more support. They plan to allocate funds this fall to provide "local" or college-based user support. These support

providers will report to, and be coordinated by, the central IT organization, but their duties will be articulated jointly by IT and the participating colleges and departments. Other major initiatives include establishing an integrated Support and Network Monitoring Center, right-sourcing dial-in support, and migrating support providers from fire fighters to fire proofers. Of all the challenges, the last may be the greatest. Toby Sitko Director Information Technology Customer Services ============================================================= The Marriott Library of the University of Utah is being forced into massive changes, in terms of both staffing and services. This is strikingly demonstrated by what is occurring in the audio-visual division of Public Services, which is now moving into the library expansion wing as the brand new Multimedia Center (MMC). Because of the huge increase in expected/demanded services and a dearth of staff, we are trying to institute team management/organization at both the MMC and throughout the entire library. It is only by appropriate, formal sharing of well-trained, expert staff that we can hope to cope with our expanded mission. Working in teams is certainly not a new concept, but it is to this library, especially for teams that integrate career staff and librarians, and support and frontline staff. Our new MMC organization chart includes one horizontal line of full-time staff who will be responsible for a team-the team leaders. Some will have at least one person as a permanent team member, while others will have no permanent members; they will be responsible for accomplishing their team's missions and goals and will be evaluated on this primarily. Some will also be temporary members of other MMC and/or library teams, and this will be a secondary but formal responsibility, reflected as one part of their performance evaluation. As an example, the MMC Trainer (who will be responsible for all the center's technical training of fulland part-time staff) will also be a member of the Library Training Team, probably under the direction, supervision, and evaluation of our Library Instruction Librarian. This team concept should work in both directions. For example, now that the general reference librarians do not have to be in a print book/index reference area to provide their service, they might work part time in our area as part of the Counter Consultants Team. They could make up for the lack of "content" assistance provided by our part-time and full-time technical specialists. We all would gain very valuable and extremely necessary cross training--they in the technical and electronic area and we in content and

evaluation. All this is supposition, as we will not complete our move until the latter part of September, and the library is still in the midst of major reorganization. We hope that any success of ours in utilizing this shared responsibility concept of flexible teams will be extended throughout the entire organization. I strongly believe that this approach is the only way we can hope to address the changes and challenges facing libraries and higher education in the next several years. Ralph Kranz Head, A-V/Microcomputer Division Marriott Library ============================================================= Weber State University (Ogden, UT) is experiencing a serious support service "crunch." The problem became particularly noticeable in fall 1995, when Novell's GroupWise was implemented University-wide and all faculty, staff, and students were given free GroupWise accounts and access to an integrated e-mail directory. It is clear that we are no longer trying to support just the "techno-junkies." Information technology is now a mainstream user support problem. Since November 1995, WSU's Computer Support Center has logged 3,362 formal requests for service and has an average backlog of 60-100 unresolved formal requests (this does not include numerous informal requests). We are exploring a number of ways to improve service and cut the backlog, but haven't found any magic solutions yet! Don E. Gardner CIO ============================================================= At St. Olaf College (Northfield, MN) growth in technology support services has to be accompanied by an associated decrease in another service area. The Academic Computing Center is fortunate, because we know how much time it takes to provide a certain service. Each staff member logs the amount of time each day that is devoted to such things as systems/network management; student, faculty, and staff support; educational services; retail operations; etc. Through careful evaluation of these time logs, we are able to identify the actual amount of time required to provide specific services. Using this information, we can evaluate the value of the service against the staff time involved, the number of individuals served by that service, etc.

One outcome of our ongoing evaluation was the decision to migrate our retail sales operations (computers, peripherals, etc.) to the campus bookstore. While this is a critical service, the bookstore has the expertise, hours, and location far better suited to this operation. Academic Computing will use this opportunity to transform our current retail facility into a walk-in help facility for the community. Another service we will be eliminating is the repair of personally owned microcomputers. Since Northfield does not have a local computer repair business, we have made arrangements with a small company in another city to provide repair services, including free pickup and delivery three times weekly. Individuals will not see any substantial increase in price, but they will see an improvement in the turn-around time on repairs of campus equipment. Another trick we are using to handle the support crisis is time management training. At least once yearly the staff as a group watches a time-management videotape. We discuss our own time traps, as well as identify the time traps that lurk within the staff. These sessions have been highly effective at increasing our productivity! Roberta Lembke Director of Academic Computing ============================================================= Obviously we are all going through a support crisis, and I don't think Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA) is any different than others. There are several important issues facing all of us, including the migration to newer technologies and the integration of these technologies in the teaching/learning environment. The most important new technologies are perhaps those that impact the telecommunications infrastructure. These issues drive our work, and require more to plan, develop, finance, manage, and support than perhaps any other issue that we've faced in the past. There are three items I would proffer that have assisted us in dealing with this support issue: Technology standards. We have attempted to control some of our support costs by having a clear and well publicized set of hardware and software standards. These are put together with help from our user community, and are enforced at the purchasing office. Standardized technology standards helps contain staffing, training, inventory, and R&D costs. Outsourcing. We have identified various segments of our operation that we regularly outsource. Photocopy maintenance, major cable pulls and dial-up Internet services are examples of opportunities where we have utilized outsourcing to minimize our costs. Technology management. I've always thought that one key way

to leverage your staffing resources is to provide them the tools they need to manage the systems they support. Therefore, we have invested and are continuing to invest in system management tools. At the same time, the industry needs to provide better (and less costly) management tools for us. Finally, as the administrative, academic arenas are pulled closer together, it is important than ever to develop effective models that are collaborative, cohesive, Stu Warford Director, Telecommunications Services Information Resources ============================================================= Information Resources & Technology (IRT) at Bradley University (Peoria, IL) has worked with the University to develop and implement four strategies to address the support crisis: The IRT Scholar Program: This program annually selects a student to participate in a "forgivable loan" program. For the final two years of the student's program, the University loans full tuition and employs the Scholar as a student assistant. Upon graduation, the Scholar is employed as a full-time entry-level employee. After three years of University employment, the tuition loan is forgiven. Enhanced use of graduate assistants: We have determined that it is more effective to assign graduate assistants to specific projects rather than to assign them as generalists. Because this approach better meets the needs of all the participants-graduate assistants, IRT staff, and clients-and provides specific, tangible outcomes, the University has provided additional graduate assistants. Market parity funding: Bradley salary increases have not kept pace with general market salaries for experienced technical staff. IRT unit managers researched comparable market salaries of high turnover and other "key" positions. Based on this research, IRT was able to persuade administration to provide a limited pool of supplemental funding to address the most serious market parity issues. Factors considered in distributing the funds included criticality of the position, merit-based performance evaluations of the individuals, ability to fill the position should it be vacated, and market parity. The University Technology Service Center (UTSC): The UTSC was established in June of 1996 as the help desk for all IRT services. The UTSC will reduce service strain on staff while increasing reliability of service to users. The Remedy Action Response System software will give us a centralized system for managing service calls, and will allow us to provide users with some ability to resolve their own problems, to and technological becoming more planning and budget and strategic.

develop service histories, and to assign service calls to appropriate technical staff. Ellen I. Watson Associate Provost for Information Resources & Technology ============================================================= (The following submission was not included in the print version of the journal.) CHANGE Multimedia Center--General Reference and the "Electronic Library" I was asked as the Division Head of the new Multimedia Center to respond to our present and future relationships with our General Reference Division and the library in general. These were some of my general musings/prophesies about the future in this library, but I believe they hold true for many libraries. As our library is now becoming less of a "support" entity on campus and more of a front line, a copartner, so will, and has what will be our new media division. Once the library was perceived as only a "support service," one that was spoken of as the "heart of the university," but was only utilized when needed, was not a proactive partner of the academic "teaching" faculty. In fact, our librarians are classified as "non-teaching" faculty. This differentiation no longer holds true on our campus. As I pointed out to our General Reference librarians as they teach more on the university level, instructing not only in normal print Bibliographic Instruction (BI), but also navigating, selecting and evaluating remote, digital sources on the Internet and in the Wide World Webb (WWW), so will the new multimedia division. We, perhaps, more on the form than the content, how to use such programs, find such sites, but we also will be dealing with and teaching "content." The library, if it is doing its job and accorded its proper leadership on campus, will lead this "electronic information" revolution. And we, the new multimedia division, will be in the forefront of helping the library to do this. As we move more and more into not only accessing information, but also creating it; computer interactive, multimedia, learner driven programs both for BI and for Distance Education, but also brand new indexing and cataloging of WWW accessible digital data bases of parochial materials; our new division will be more of a partner in do so. In the present and new future no library area will have enough staff to carry out the old, let alone the new, mission of an "electronic library"; or to create, as our Governor calls it, the "Virtual University." So as the Library must work hand in hand with the teaching faculty (and campus

computing and telecommunications), so must librarians work cooperatively, collaboratively, with career staff members with their expertise in setting up the infrastructure of the new library and in creating some of its new programs. No longer can General Reference act as a truly separate "division," as no longer can we as we all did in the past. We, in our library, have concrete instances of how we will be forced to work in "teams" informally, even if not structured so formally. We will have electronic classrooms in two physical areas of the library under two different divisions. One, the brand new still being constructed and personned Bibliographic Instruction Division, which will take over our two, old computer labs when the multimedia division moves into the new library expansion (we are physically combining and moving our old microcomputer center and the audio-visual area into one new multimedia area), and the multimedia division will have two brand new 35 seat computer labs and four other media classrooms. All of these will be used by BI instructors, which, PRESENTLY, are mostly General Reference librarians. Therefore, these three divisions must and will work closely together not only in the logistics of setting up and using the rooms, but also the instruction itself. We can teach WWW and Internet, computer programs, while they teach content specific cd-rom databases, the on-line catalog etc. I also want all of us to start outreach to K-12 and the business community, for these "outsiders" to utilize us and our facilities; to share and build community support, and thus Legislative support. And in turn we will use any of their expertise we can. The librarians and teaching faculty will also need to work closely with us to begin to utilize "multimedia," when appropriate, as a teaching tool - its access and its creation. To try other physical classroom configurations such as non-lecture centered pod, workstation type of arrangements that facilitate both small, group collaborative as well as large group instruction. Our library with its new director and new expansion will be looking at new administrative organizations to further our new extended mission. I suggested to General Reference, which is now clustered up on our main level by the "reference" collection, to consider, once "information" is not limited by its physical location, spreading its offices around the library. In other words, I would like to see some of its content rich specialists physically in my area (two levels down and in a new wing) available to help our patrons with "content" questions. "Librarians" to be available near by for appointments; and to be able to work our counter. Our multimedia consultants, part time staff, as well as our full time career staff, would not only pick up surface level abilities to help more with content, BUT also pick up better "service attitudes." In return, the "regular" General Reference librarians would gain better understanding of and expertise in the "technical," computer side of the new

electronic information environment. And hopefully, we all can become multimedia etc. literate. Being in the same area at least some hours would also facilitate the librarian's use of higher end multimedia workstations and the use of multimedia production programs. We all know it is difficult enough to pick up new technology when everything is in your office (including personal face-to-face help), but almost impossible when you have to go the length of the building and hope you find someone and the machine + program to help you. In the short term to bridge the gap between content and form, and lack of trained staff to trouble shoot both, I suggested to our General Reference librarians that they should consider creating WWW URL bibliographies. Linking parts on our multimedia (and the library) WWW pages that are subject specific, for instance the Social Sciences and even more specific subject areas, taking our patrons directly with a click of the mouse to "good", specific WWW resources. The "librarians" and our staff (with the emphasis here on "subject" librarians although some of our staff have been extremely active and good in a/v collection development and would add their expertise here) would be responsible for locating these active URLs and evaluating them. Our staff for putting them on the page and making sure it was functioning. The librarians and appropriate career staff would be responsible that these "sources" were still active and valid. A true team effort. Then when a patron, a student etc., came to the multimedia desk for content advice, we wouldn't always have to run them physically over to General Reference, as we do now, for low level subject advice. Our part time staff could direct them to a subject list of valid WWW URLs to look at. We all know how one WWW site can lead to dozens of others. I also suggested they, the subject librarians, could also, within that WWW bibliography, suggest some cd-rom databases (maybe even link those in) that would be appropriate for this field. Actual, useful real-time, on-line help aids for use of the cd-rom database could be added. We also see our roles (librarian<>career staff, Multimedia<>General Reference Division) merging in the selection, evaluation and purchase of "media" sources. Once it was just individual movies, audio CD's and computer programs; and the audio-visual and the microcomputer center had their own separate budgets and bought materials "privately" with some input by librarians and other college faculty. Now not only is the use of specific, physical media items expanding so much that non-media librarians, as long as it is part of their selection/collection development scope, must and are buying more "videos"; BUT there are or will soon be available large a/v digital databases full of movies, political science primary sources of Congressional data etc. accessed remotely or stored on your own meta file server that there must be large cooperative buying agreements to even consider acquiring them from both the cost and equipment (not to mention preservation) side. Presently we make library wide decisions and priorities on cd-rom "library wide" databases; campus wide collaborative

decisions on campus wide databases; and state wide higher education (with the future view of K-12 actively entering into this "networking" within the next year) cooperatively decisions on state wide cd-rom databases. Soon this must be done with "a/v digital databases"; and it will compete for scarce funding with the cd-rom information. We have already been offered a beta test site digital political science database. Carnegie-Mellon is creating a huge 10 terra bytes, frame and audio indexed, a/v database of much primary and secondary a/v material. I am sure soon we will be offered access to this resource. It will not just be the Multimedia Division that makes this choice. In general in the "new" library (as between these three divisions; Multimedia, BI and General Reference) of the Public Services Department, will exhibit whether informally or formally, more, much more, cooperation/collaboration. Results will count, not who should do it, or whose empire it should be in. "Formally" (IE. administratively written in and supported), this "team" work across whatever bureaucratic lines/hierarchies continue to exist will not only be encouraged, but it will be expected. You will help if you can no matter what division you exist in on paper, and you won't have to go up the line to get "formal" permission. A strict hierarchical structure will not change, adapt rapidly enough to allow the people to actually carry out this new mission. Ten years ago we "informally" worked as a team across three (Law, Health Sciences and ourselves) libraries on campus to begin to purchase, access and network the then brand new cd-rom database. If we had waited for hierarchical permission to do this, or waited to have been told to do this, we would have been years behind where we are now. It was done much more efficiently and quickly out side the "hierarchy". Why do you think "they" say, "It is much easier to gain `forgiveness' than `permission'?" The main administrative push or "formal" acknowledgment of this new (old?) way of working will be that you WILL be evaluated on how well you play with others, on your "collaborative skills". It will no longer be just your job title, or the initials after your name, or what you can do as an "individual" alone, but how well you work with, lead, facilitate "group ware." We don't have enough individuals to do everything. Therefore, we must share and work as groups, teams and hope/know the whole IS greater than the sum of its parts and we will accomplish more. We, the "organization," must be more fluid (mellow out more) and share not only resources, but people. Hand in hand with "evaluation" is PAY. You will be treated and paid for "results," not for your title or what library department you reside in. BUT as the above states, results of a team as well as you as an individual will be taken into equal account. We are attempting to initiate this new way of "working" in the new Multimedia Division for several reasons. Mainly to get done what we must, people must share work and

responsibilities. Too gain the staff we need to carry out our mission we must show how they/we are willing to work in/with other areas to carry out the "whole" library mission and not just our share. For instance, we want/need to hire a "multimedia specialist" because we have none and this issupposedly a "multimedia" division - and we want to start an emphasis on this by having one FTE responsible for it. BUT the Library may not agree WE need one, or we may not enough money ourselves to offer a salary that will attract a person with the necessary skills and experience to fulfill the job duties we expect. Therefore, promising that this individual will head our Library "multimedia team", which will be flexible, contain rotating in and out members, and that although his major responsibility is to our division, s/he well have EVALUATED RESPONSIBILITIES to other areas of the library as well as ours. This way we get what we feel we need immediately and the library also FORMALLY gains valuable, shared expertise. If you look at our rough concept of the new division's organizational chart, you will notice not only solid, black lines and areas of set, "divisional" responsibilities and reporting structure, but also dotted lines of "team" responsibilities; LIBRARY WIDE AS WELL AS DIVISIONAL. Obviously not everyone of my co-workers loves this idea, and many still want to know what I mean by teams. For instance our Repair Tech will be official head of the a/v repair team and will be evaluated on the goals and results of that team. Which may only consist of h/erself and part timers; or h/erself and other area library staff who are helping h/er with OUR repairs. OR, s/he may also work as part of the Multimedia Division PC team helping them repair etc. PCS. In that role s/he will be evaluated as a "team member" not the responsible leader - or as temporary part of the library Systems microforms repair team (IE anybody they can get to help them). These are some rough, beginning "reorganizational" ideas, proposals we are working with. I would like us to attack reorganization as something brand new. Like "fractional" computing compared to the computing stage we are in now. (See CAUSE's Morrison article on "fractional computing". This is some of the ways our new Division is attacking continual change and its ramifications, and attempting to influence the entire library's reorganization. (TWO CHARTS NOT AVAILABLE IN ASCII TEXT VERSION) Respectfully submitted Ralph Kranz Head, A-V/Microcomputer Division Marriott Library