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MLA 2010. Can’t We All Get Along?. The highs and lows of librarian /IT collaborations. Carrie Iwema , PhD, MLS Information Specialist in Molecular Biology Fran Yarger , MA, MAEd Assistant Director for Computing Services Health Sciences Library System University of Pittsburgh.

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can t we all get along
MLA 2010

Can’tWe All Get Along?

The highs and lows of librarian/IT collaborations

Carrie Iwema, PhD, MLS

Information Specialist in Molecular Biology

Fran Yarger, MA, MAEd

Assistant Director for Computing Services

Health Sciences Library System

University of Pittsburgh

hsls health sciences library system
HSLS = Health Sciences Library System
  • University of Pittsburgh
    • 6 health sciences schools
    • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)
    • Patron base = 55,000
    • HSLS Web site = 3,000,000 visitors/year
hsls homepage
HSLS Homepage

http://www.hsls.pitt.edu/

hsls web development players
HSLS Web DevelopmentPlayers
  • 7 member Executive Committee
  • 22 FT, 2 PT faculty Librarians
  • 5 member Web Committee
  • 3 member IT Development Team
new hsls web projects foundation
New HSLS Web Projects—Foundation
  • Theory-based
    • Pirolli’s Information Foraging
    • Nielsen/Norman group
  • Cost/benefit ratio
  • Question: “what problem does this solve”
new hsls web projects initiation
New HSLS Web Projects—Initiation
  • Executive Committee
    • Project charter
    • Global view
  • SMEs (Subject Matter Experts)
    • Ideas, plans, and outcomes
  • Application developer & web programmer
    • Realistic view of technology capabilities
new hsls web projects work flow
New HSLS Web Projects—Work Flow
  • Meeting between SME & IT project manager (ongoing)
  • Paper / online prototypes
  • Usability testing
  • Revisions
  • Launch
  • Maintenance
new hsls web projects accomplishments
New HSLS Web Projects—Accomplishments
  • 2 years = >20 web-based projects launched
  • A few started but not completed
  • Projects include:
thoughts on the process
Thoughts on the process?
  • Survey—SMEs
  • Interviews—IT Development Team
33 questions including
33 Questions, including:
  • When working on your web based project was there clear communication regarding expectations, process and, if needed, work to be completed?
  • Before development began, did you or your group have a needs assessment plan for the project?
  • In your own words, how would you explain HSLS’s web design process?
results sme feedback individual
Results—SME feedback (individual)

0= N/A 1=strongly disagree 2=disagree 3=neither agree nor disagree 4=agree 5=strongly agree

survey comments positive
Survey Comments—Positive

(The usability testing process was) well done, although it would be nice for it to be more extensive…results were useful and led to some changes.

(The launch/update/ upgrade schedule was) very effective and timely.

(The HSLS web design process is) seamless...and very effective.

(Paper prototyping) was very flexible and permitted input from multiple sources simultaneously.

survey comments negative
Survey Comments—Negative

I wonder if any usability is ever done and if it is if the negative comments are really used.

Should be more listening to librarians…and less dictating by systems.

A prototype…would have saved on a lot of problems…decisions were made by IT.

More input from departments if it directly impacts their work.

it suggestions to improve process sme
IT Suggestions to ImproveProcess(SME)
  • Bring list of wants/needs/target audience
  • Provide content
  • Create paper prototype for IT to convert to electronic version
  • Supply questions for usability testing
  • Have a non-involved party run usability testing (reduces bias)
  • Be goal-driven not tool-driven
it suggestions to improve process it
IT Suggestions to ImproveProcess(IT)
  • Ask questions to clarify goals
  • Clearly explain IT capabilities
  • Create electronic prototype
  • Assist w/usability testing
  • Formalize maintenance schedule
moving forward
MovingForward…

Better communication!

  • Especially when leadership-driven
  • Between SME & IT
  • Expectation management
thanks for your attention

Thanks for your attention!

Carrie Iwema, PhD, MLS

Information Specialist in Molecular Biology

Fran Yarger, MA, MAEd

Assistant Director for Computing Services

Health Sciences Library System

University of Pittsburgh

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