a blog about technology management

Tuesday, day 9

Today we delved into e-scholarship again this time with Christine Borgman from UCLA via video skype.  It worked really quite well.  She used her work with CENS as a case study.  Not a lot of takeaways — I’m just not that interested in e-scholarship or see the pressing relevance right now for Augsburg.  The major research institutions in the room were far more engaged in the topic.

The after consisted of a tour of Emory facilities including Cox Hall — I feel like I visited one of the holy sites for learning spaces.  I of course snapped many of my own pictures. One tidbit, they spent 30% of their budget on lighting — something to not forget.  We also visited the tiny room where they are digitizing books in partnership with Amazon.  I snapped a few pictures of their machine.  As we watched it looked like maybe an average of 5 seconds per 2-pages with a yellowback book. They noted for every 1 hour of digitizing they needed 2 hours of post-processing.

We then had a panel discussion with leadership from the library and IT at Emory.  A few quotes include “manage complexity in an organization resistant to change,” “higher ed lacks guts but has a heart,” and “the part that is not in the classroom is a business.”  The various discussions made me think

  • we need to track what projects we have going on (something Leif has been interested in).  There has been so much talk about projects driving things.
  • how do we keep meeting the changing demands and stay nimble? — our beginning efforts to build a knowledgebase, make videos are all moving towards a campus culture where people can use some self-service.  I want to have the personal contact to be meaningful and advance our goals and the mission.  We have a talented, committed outstanding user support staff.  We can’t keep expanding and changing what we support without streamlining some of the basics — some questions are essential but not strategic.

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