Merging Library and Information Technology

Hamilton College president, Joan Hinde Stewart, shared with Inside Higher Ed that she considers merging the library and information technology operations into one department. Most colleges keep their libraries and IT departments separate, but at many smaller colleges administers merge both departments in order to curb administrative costs. Other institutions view combining two departments with similar responsibilities as the best way to help serve their faculty members and students.

In February 1994, Gettysburg College considers itself one of the first colleges to move its IT staffers into the library. Creating a new department dubbed the Information Resources. The department only lasted for three and a half years due to different factors such as cramped accommodations, opposition from faculty members and an “unwieldy and unworkable” team structure.

Stewart shared the impact new technologies have on production; merging departments will be the way of the future. In 2002, Hamilton developed a strategic plan, which proposed renovating and expanding the library. The college librarian, Randy Ericson, announced his intention to 2011. In the final report, the committee believed the library should consider collaborating more closely with other departments on campus. For decades the Information Technology Services (ITS) was conveniently located in the library. The new department’s mission is to teach students how to use information and technology to prepare them for the world in which they’re going to live.

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Picture By: Brooksmemorial