Answer to Do librarians often encounter communication problems with IT services ?

Yes.

Try to do the systems thinking. Know what you want a service to look like and provide step-by-step directions to IT to get you there.

Try to escalate your problems to the highest level you can reach.

Advocate for a more open IT system (Linux servers, Web standards, granular user permissions, an open CMS, etc)

Don’t accept ‘good enough’. Keep the ticket open in their Customer management system until it works the way you need it to work.

Try to get the tools to do most of the troubleshooting yourself.

Don’t believe everything they tell you.

Cherish any IT contact that exhibits systems thinking skills.

Learn the vocabulary. Create a cross-walk if you need to, but it helps immensely if you can speak geek.

Keep examples from other libraries handy, often an IT guy can figure out what you want based on a visual example or by looking at the code from another institution.

I’d also recommend using hosted services whenever they fit within your libraries mission. Something like a patron database really needs to be onsite (or as part of the institutional ActiveDirectory/LDAP server administered by IT which is far better) but library guides, a finding tool,  your library blog, even your library webpage can be managed on remote servers in many cases. While you do lose a little autonomy by using hosted service, you often gain ease of use and a chance to build capacity as more people participate in creating and updating library online resources.

Originally posted on Quora

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