Michael Ridley, CIO and chief librarian, U. of Guelph; Donna Sheeder, CIO of Congressional Research Services, LC; IT guy from a small public library in Kentucky (gamely substituting at the last minute)
Ridley: enterprise IT vs. tech populism (everybody doing their own IT). The Information Age is over. Everybody is in the information business. It’s the Age of Imagination. Open organization: freedom to try things, even if we fail.
Sheeder: Understand the ecology and environment in your organization: tech, culture, budget, risk. (LC, with Congress watching over it, is risk averse.) Movement for telework. Proliferation of devices: align your content to what users are using. SaaS, GIS. (I never heard anyone pronounce these as “sass” and “jis” before.) Very concerned with security.
Kentucky IT guy: “Here to help you get there from here.” Made changes to network and servers to save energy.
- Internet everywhere, library everywhere
- Show a solid business case for what you want to do
- Align with the greater goals of the organization
- Think like a user and like a decision maker
- Make yourself visible
- Tolerance of other “tribes”
(Good advice for anyone in any kind of support role in your org.)
Sheeder: IT and staff should develop requirements before jumping to a solution. Ridley (disagreeing somewhat): Have to have creative “skunkworks” out there doing their own things.
Personal Information Management
Gary Price (presentations) talked about all kinds of web sites/open-source software to do:
- Computer backup
- Site capture (a webmaster will know you are doing this, unless you use a VPN to disguise your IP address)
- Bibliographic management (review of various services)
- Social media archiving (one-click download of your Facebook data, e.g.)
- Bookmarks plus
- Web archives and caches (Archive-It)
- Searching your hard drive
Adding Value to Research
Marcy Phelps, Phelps Research (presentation)
Make information easy to use, distill, make connections. What’s the bottom line? Ask your user.
- Have an executive summary: 1-page, bulleted, top-level summary, address questions, link to additional information further down
- Cover memo: Address user’s research questions, your general approach, any issues that came up, findings in 25 words or less, one-page, branded
- Add meaning to boring numbers. Excel charts, data visualization (see Gapminder and the Guardian‘s data store for inspiration)
- Add a dashboard: graphical display all in one place, multiple graphs
- Let others do the work. Dialog has a report option you can use. Smart art in Excel. American FactFinder
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