SPEC Kit 328: Collaborative Teaching and Learning Tools  · 15
a workshop for interactive whiteboard use. In one
instance, certification is required for “some complex
equipment.” Where training is not required, instruc-
tions on how to use the equipment is offered upon
More than half of the 58 responding libraries (33
responses or 57%) reported that both library IT/sys-
tems and non-systems staff play a role in training
their coworkers to use and troubleshoot collabora-
tive tools. About a third of these 33 also turn to their
parent institution IT staff and/or commercial ven-
dors for training. At 12 libraries only non-IT library
staff provide training or troubleshooting. Five rely
solely on library IT staff. Only two respondents re-
port training or troubleshooting only by the parent IT
staff. The high number of respondents who depend
on non-systems staff for training/troubleshooting
(47 or 81%) indicates the need for immediate support
for staff in public service functions. One respondent
describes staff being trained by “super users” in their
area. Another commented, “It depends. Most trouble-
shooting is done and documentation developed by
front-line staff. When necessary, IT staff will help
resolve technical problems. We intentionally wanted
equipment and systems that were readily usable and
wouldn’t require staff help.”
When asked who provides technical support for
library users, the responses were almost identical to
who provides training. The majority of respondents
once again depend on either non-systems library staff
(47 of 61 responses) or library IT/systems staff (40 re-
sponses). With a few variations, the same libraries rely
on the parent institution’s IT/systems staff for user
support. Only four respondents receive user technical
support from vendors. This suggests a dependence on
“train-the-trainer” sessions for library staff who re-
ceive the training directly from vendors and then pass
that knowledge on to the users. Comments on this
question also hint at support for students by students.
Not surprisingly, maintenance and repair of col-
laborative teaching and learning tools shifts more to
library IT/systems staff (49 or 81% of responses over-
all). The number of libraries that rely on non-systems
library staff goes down to roughly half. Most of these
30 respondents also depend on library and parent
institution IT staff and vendors for maintenance and
repairs. Most of the remaining 31 respondents rely on
a combination of library and parent institution IT staff
and commercial vendors. Additionally, responses
in the “other” category imply that institutions are
willing to go “out-of-house” (e.g., outsource) to keep
highly technical tools in good working order. Reliance
on commercial vendors for repairs and maintenance
is also likely a reflection on the contractual obligations
of the suppliers to honor warranties for malfunction-
ing parts or hardware.
Considering the complex nature of new technol-
ogy and hardware involved with the wide variety of
collaborative teaching and learning tools, responses
to this question and the previous support questions
clearly indicate that institutions depend greatly on
their IT/systems staff for maintenance and trouble-
shooting of highly technical hardware and software.
However, right along with them are non-IT/systems
library staff members that provide assistance in about
half of each of the troubleshooting, technical support,
and maintenance scenarios.
Financial Support
Initial purchase of collaborative teaching and learning
tools in libraries is done through a variety of funding
sources, but chiefly they are acquired through the gen-
eral library budget (53 responses or 86%). The library’s
IT/systems budget came in second as a source of fund-
ing for half of the responding libraries. About a third
relied on the parent institution’s IT/systems budget or
student technology fees. Grant funding from outside
agencies is used by roughly one-fifth of the libraries.
Only six respondents reported using a public/private
partnership for funding. The “other” responses fall
into several discernable categories: donations/donor
funds (seven responses); other institutional depart-
ments (four responses); endowment funds (three re-
sponses); and renovation/construction funds (three
responses). One respondent reported using library
fines and fees. Another is considering using collection
development funds in the near future to buy e-readers
and iPads. A third received funding for laptops and
netbooks from a local credit union, while one library
system used “shared funding” of student technol-
ogy fees by collaborating with other units on campus.
Such creative and varied responses suggest libraries
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