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Shining the Light on Departmental Divisions: Creating Solutions

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Description: Technical services and public services personnel bring very different philosophies, experiences and needs to the development table. What are these differences and how can collaborative working groups bring balance to the often seemingly disparate issues when creating and implementing new technologies that benefit the user? Why do we feel the need to identify with one or the other, apart from administrative hierarchy? How does this division potentially affect our ability to communicate and collaborate within the library? Is it an asset or a roadblock to innovation?

For example, one side-effect of tightened travel budgets is that librarians and staff are much more selective about which conferences they attend. With the stakes of tenure and/or promotion high, one tends to gravitate toward conferences most similar to one’s own field, limiting the chances for “cross-pollination” of ideas and ideology.

This facilitated discussion will give participants a chance to voice concerns and potentially work out solutions in a non-confrontational atmosphere. No “us” versus “them” allowed here. Staff, faculty, and administrators are all welcome.

Presenter(s): Marliese Thomas, User Engagement Librarian, Samford University Library

Format: Facilitated discussion

Target audience: Administrators, academic librarians, early professionals, technical staff, all librarians

Types of libraries:

  • Academic
  • Community College
  • Medical
  • Public
  • Research Library
  • State Library
  • Undergraduate


  • Administration and Management
  • Leadership
  • Mentoring
  • Organizational Change
  • Personnel and Staffing

Additional comments: While I am submitting this proposal as a facilitated discussion, I am open to turning it into a panel, if there is sufficient interest from another group to co-sponsor. However, the focus should be on a collaborative approach to sharing information and ideas, not lecture-style or case study presentations.