Examining IT and Library Service Convergence: One Path for Embracing the Future

2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT March 18, 2014

As they plan for the future, increasing numbers of colleges and universities are examining and re-envisioning the relationships between work functions. One of the closest ties often found is between academic libraries and information technology. What does this relationship offer in terms of strengthening an institution’s ability to fulfill its mission in the midst of a changing landscape? (Times EDT)

Colleges and universities face a variety of pressures. Two pressure points are adjusting to the evolving landscape of higher education and using finite resources efficiently and effectively. Technology-enhanced “flipped” classrooms, the rise of digital scholarship, and a keener focus on assessment are examples of the former. Space, time, money, and staff expertise are examples of the latter. These pressures become even more pointed at smaller institutions. How have academic library and information technology organizations been contributing toward effective solutions? Some have embraced a path toward greater convergence of IT and library services. Has doing so enabled institutions to adjust sooner and more quickly to shifts in our higher education environment? Has it stimulated innovation? Has it helped eliminate duplicative effort?

Seminar leader Terry Metz will delve into these questions, explore why and how the work of technologists and librarians is growing more and more similar, and highlight some colleges that have aligned technology and library talent in more integrated ways. Join him and NITLE Network colleagues to examine the benefits and challenges of converging IT and library services and consider future implications.

Recommended Reading

Please review and explore these resources to prepare for active engagement with your fellow seminar participants.

Seminar Leader

Terry Metz consults for academic library and information technology organizations at colleges and small universities. He focuses primarily on organizational development, process improvement, strategic alignment, and staff development. He also provides expertise for unifying library and technology services for organizational effectiveness. Terry most recently served as University Librarian at Washington and Lee University. He held prior appointments as Library Director at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, and as Vice President for Library and Information Services at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. His cabinet-level position at Wheaton was responsible for unifying the information assets of the college both in support of the college’s academic mission and in its management and operations. 

Terry received B.A. degrees in business administration and geography from Gustavus Adophus College and an M.A. in library science from the University of Minnesota. From 1986-1992 he served as consortium manager for Cooperating Libraries in Consortium (CLIC), a nonprofit consortium of seven private liberal arts college and university libraries in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. Prior to working for CLIC, he was employed as a librarian at Hamline University in St. Paul.

Terry is an EDUCAUSE Frye Fellow from the class of 2000. He is particularly interested in issues related to the integration of campus information services (e.g., libraries, information technology units, media services, etc.), especially at liberal arts colleges. He is also interested in collaborative initiatives among liberal arts colleges, as well as library and information technology support of learning and teaching. Terry co-authored with Chris Ferguson, Dean of Information Resources at Pacific Lutheran University, a chapter entitled, “From Tribes to Community: On Leadership Issues Related to the Integration of Library and Computing,” in Leadership, Higher Education, and the Information Age: a New Era for Information Technology and Libraries, edited by Carrie E. Regenstein and Barbara L. Dewey (Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2003). He also co-authored, “Greater than the Sum of Its Parts: The Integrated IT/Library Organization,” with Mr. Ferguson and Gene Spencer. This article appeared in the May/June 2004 issue of EDUCAUSE Review.

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Those interested in the examining the relationship between academic libraries and information technology should attend this seminar. Persons with any level of experience with this topic are encouraged to participate, whether you already work in a converged IT/library environment or know colleagues who work in one, or your institution is considering embracing a more converged model of IT/library services. Attendance by institutional teams is encouraged; individuals are also welcome to participate.

Please register online by Friday, March 14. Participation in NITLE Shared Academics is open to all active member institutions of the NITLE Network as a benefit of membership and as space allows. No additional registration fee applies.


For more information about this event, please contact Georgianne Hewett at ghewett@nitle.org.

NITLE Shared AcademicsTM models a new approach to liberal education – made possible through strategic collaboration, driven by shared knowledge, and supported by emerging technologies. Campuses learn how inter-institutional academic exchange works by actively participating in it, building the knowledge and experience to re-architect liberal education.