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ITS and Library merge into LTS

By Graham Dobereiner

Section: News

September 23, 2005

Information Technology Services (ITS) and the University Libraries have combined to become a new university organization, Library and Technology Services (LTS).

The mission of the new organization is to provide better information access and services to the Brandeis community through a seamless campus presence, according to Perry Hanson, Vice President and Vice Provost for Libraries and Information Technology, regarding the recent merger.

The new LTS will be able to provide richer collections of information, said Susan Wawrzaszek, Chief University Librarian. Weve changed our way of thinking on how to collect and manage data. Theres much more information available out there than in the past. This is a really exciting time for us.

Though the decision to combine ITS and the University Libraries was made official in March of this year, the two organizations have collaborated on different projects in the past, including support for WebCT, management for campus computer clusters and support for library and technology intensive courses, according to the LTS web site.

Part of the motivation for the merge of the two organizations was an overlap of certain projects that ITS and the University Libraries were pursuing separately. What happened here and at a lot of campuses is that the library is doing its thing and IT is doing another thing, and it turns out they are both doing the same thing, said Hanson. We were actually doing thatand we cant afford to do things like that anymore.

Hanson said that the reorganization will allow the libraries and IT to work together more cooperatively. [The merge] allows us to combine our strategic planning, to join research and development and to create more professional growth opportunities for peopleit allows us to do more fun stuff.

Since ITS and University Libraries have combined, LTS has made several changes to the library and technology infrastructure. The Instructional Technology Resource Center (ITRC), which provides faculty and students assistance with curriculum technology integration, has been moved from Feldberg to Goldfarb. Other short-term LTS projects include campus-wide wireless network coverage, and updates to the SAGE software application.

For Hanson, a main short-term concern for the new LTS is transparency with the community. I want a Program Plan to be available. We havent always been as clear as we can be with the community. We have 300 projects going onthere isnt any reason why everyone shouldnt see what were working on. Thats really important to us.

Hanson has an extensive vision for future technology services. Part of his vision is a more centralized means for Brandeisians to find specific information. You shouldnt have to wonder where to go, you shouldnt have to think twice, you ought to be able to just go somewhere and get the services you need. Hanson also suggested other ways technology that could be implemented in the long-term, including a print-on-demand system for online materials and an online publishing system for student work.

Hanson believes that there has always been a fundamental link between the library and IT. We start with a piece of information, said Dr. Hanson. Theres everything about it, and how it moves about. Thats the library technology connection. We focus on information, and think about how we get it in all its forms.

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