Off to LITA

I’m sitting on the Lincoln Line, train #303, en route from Chicago to St. Louis, headed for the LITA National Forum.

It’s been a year since I last came back to “my people” at the 2019 Forum in Atlanta. And what a year it’s been!

Back then I was just a few months into my new job as Web Services Coordinator, still learning the various platforms at my institution, laying my strategy for the great work ahead and learning (sometimes the hard way) the political landscape of my new workplace.

At that time, the agenda for the coming year included preparing our library portal for migration to SharePoint and all the changes that would bring. There was also establishing a Web Services team, a core of metrics, a content management strategy and a documentation practice, none of which was yet in place. Who knew, as the year unfolded, that WorldCat Local, LibGuides and a trip to Adamson University in the Philippines would be in store.

As I reflect on the accomplishments since the last LITA Forum, it’s amazing how much actually got done.

The portal is not yet in SharePoint (that’s slated to occur by January), but I did succeed in forming consensus in the library about streamlining the portal architecture along with a major makeover of the Special Collections section. In July, my team and I launched this new architecture, reducing the number of pages by about 40%. It also appears that our efforts at building understanding in our campus IT about our unique requirements have been fruitful. We are now ready for the intriguing adventure that will be SharePoint.

Another accomplishment: My team is now in place to carry out our future work as well. Last winter, I hired a graduate developer to help carry out the coding (largely in C#). And this past summer, I filled the Web Applications Librarian position to assist in bringing our library closer to our cutting edge aspirations.

And all of our processes for collecting data and documenting our work is now formalized and ready for the future. The remaining piece, the content management plan, is largely complete while it awaits final approval from the library administration (and of course a content management system like SharePoint).

So, as I head out of Chicago toward the annual gathering of many other techbrarians, I go very content and optimistic about the road ahead. Here’s to a week of inspiring ideas in St. Louis and to months afterward for implementing those ideas.


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