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New perspectives on the convergence of academic libraries and campus information technology departments

Nicholas Joint (Andersonian Library, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)

Library Review

ISSN: 0024-2535

Article publication date: 6 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to give some insight into current evidence about the value of converging library and information technology departments into single organisational units.

Design/methodology/approach

A narrative account of attempts to merge libraries, IT departments and other campus support services, with analysis supported by a selected, representative number of published case studies. A conclusion is offered that emphasises the practical benefits of convergence at the level of the working library professional and everyday library user.

Findings

The recent history of convergence has moved through three phases: an early period of optimistic and energetic commitment to the idea of merging IT and library services, gave way to an interim stage of reflection and reconsideration during which some degree of “deconvergence” took place. After this pause, a new dynamic was created, associated both with the trend towards “super‐convergence”, and also with new, more pragmatic ideas about how to bring workers from different professional traditions together.

Originality/value

The paper attempts to give some highly contemporary insights into the latest thinking and developments on the topic in question, and emphasises the importance of relating abstract management strategies to practical organisational outcomes.

Keywords

Citation

Joint, N. (2011), "New perspectives on the convergence of academic libraries and campus information technology departments", Library Review, Vol. 60 No. 8, pp. 637-644. https://doi.org/10.1108/00242531111166674

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited