26 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 291 2017 aspects of the development. This increased our capacity and confidence we later led projects that previously could have only been done by other people on the team.14 Now there are more staff members at the organization that can perform certain tasks, all without requiring a formal professional development program. We learned to speak each others’ language. Information technology is technical by nature, so it could sometimes be difficult for public services staff members to know how to bring up issues with ITS staff in the most effective ways. Likewise, ITS staff members did not always understand the impact of the issues public services staff were reporting, making communication more difficult. Judith’s role on the web team allowed her to translate for both groups. Our units became closer. Librarians in Judith’s home department are highly skilled in research assistance and public service. This placement gave the department a way to share their collective insights into user searching and web browsing behavior and influence the website’s design to benefit users. ITS staff now had a colleague with public-service expertise embedded in the department to whom they could turn when they needed a quick, informal opinion on design or functionality development. Other UTL public services librarians now had an insider on the web team. We did not anticipate that having a public services librarian on the web team would embolden other librarians to get more involved with the redesign process. Judith frequently fielded calls from colleagues curious about what was happening and looking for ways to share their insights. She helped encourage and direct their feedback. Longer-Term Outcomes We made this interdepartmental placement indefinite. Encouraged by the new website’s success and Library Administration’s support of our project, we proposed an ongoing collaboration.
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