CAN'T CONNECT?

Communication and Cooperation

Communication is essential to ensure the smooth operation of the library. Communication should flow from all levels of the library: from the director to the staff and from the staff to the director. The library should have a regular mechanism to communicate with the campus.Library staff should work collaboratively and cooperatively with other departments on campus. A special relationship should be encouraged between the library and information technology staff in providing access to electronic information resources. In some cases, a vice-president, dean, or director of information services may administer both library and information technology operations and services. The library is usually responsible for selecting and providing information content. Information technology usually provides the technical infrastructure and support to deliver information. There is no single organizational model that will work for all colleges. Regardless of whether the services are independent or are integrated in some way, it is important that the services work collaboratively and keep each other fully informed.
  1. Is there effective communication within the library that allows for a free flow of administrative and managerial information?
  2. Are staff members encouraged to suggest new ideas or procedures to improve operations or working conditions within the library? Is there a process to facilitate this?
  3. Does the library have a regular means to exchange information with the campus?
  4. Has the library established cooperative working relationships with other departments on campus?
  5. If the library and information technology are administered separately, does the organizational structure provide opportunities for productive communication and collaboration?
  6. If one administrator has responsibility for both the library and information technology, how well have the two functions been integrated?
  7. Is the library able to obtain technical support for information technology in the form of in-house expertise to provide electronic resources to on-site and remote users?
  8. Is the capacity of the campus network sufficient to provide reasonable response times for local and remote information resources?

1. Is there effective communication within the library that allows for a free flow of administrative and managerial information?

Frequent meetings, an organizational mini-week, and ample electronic communication allow for the sharing of ideas and flow of information. If anything, there is so much data available that some information management might be in order.
Back to top

2. Are staff members encouraged to suggest new ideas or procedures to improve operations or working conditions within the library? Is there a process to facilitate this?

New ideas are welcomed. Because of our organizational structure in a Modified Team Based Environment, channels of communication, though open, are sometimes a bit confusing. We are rather flat, intentionally lacking a complicated hierarchy. This allows all members of the staff to have input in decision-making endeavors and to have access the Dean. Sometimes this creates a flood of input that can hamper the processes by which action could be taken.

Back to top

3. Does the library have a regular means to exchange information with the campus?

Yes, although this is an area in which the library has been seeking improvement. The Dean has an excellent relationship with the other campus administrators, and a healthy liaison program allows librarians to communicate with their respective departmental assignments. However, because of the nature of IUPUI as a largely commuter campus, centralized communication sources, in general, are difficult to utilize.

Back to top

4. Has the library established cooperative working relationships with other departments on campus?

Solid relationships with other campus units are of utmost importance to the library. Meetings among employees of the various libraries as well as efforts by liaisons to be in frequent contact with their teaching faculty are both critical components of the library's culture.

Back to top

5. If the library and information technology are administered separately, does the organizational structure provide opportunities for productive communication and collaboration?

These units are administered separately, but effective integration and coverage of technology services has been achieved. Most library computer applications, workstations and servers are maintained by members of the library technology teams. Members of the library's Client Support Team provide prompt, exceptional desktop computer support to the staff and patrons of the library. Other computer services, such as email services, student network accounts, common file storage space, course-management software, and the network infrastructure are managed and maintained by University Information Technology Services.

Back to top

6. If one administrator has responsibility for both the library and information technology, how well have the two functions been integrated?

Where there is overlap, integration is seamless.

Back to top

7. Is the library able to obtain technical support for information technology in the form of in-house expertise to provide electronic resources to on-site and remote users?

The library's technology staff has the expertise to maintain the infrastructure necessary to allow remote and on-site access to the library's electronic resources. The library provide a proxy server to allow access to IP filtered resources to those who do not use the university as their internet provider (estimated to be 40% to 50% of students).

University Information Technology Services is responsible for the campus network. The library has an productive working relationship with this group and any problems that arise are quickly dealt with.

Back to top

8. Is the capacity of the campus network sufficient to provide reasonable response times for local and remote information resources?

Yes. Response times and overall up time are both quite good. The campus and our building have very high speed network access both in terms of the campus network and in terms of access to the Internet. The University Library houses the Main Distribution Frame Room and the Network Operations Center (NOC), which is also the NOC for Internet II and many international high speed networks. The campus network is cored with multi GB fiber and we have redundant commodity internet connections in the OC 48 range, with plans in the works to greatly increase this capacity within the next 12 months.

Back to top

Last updated by lcalvert on 08/03/2007