OCLC Research publishes guide for collaboration between archivists and IT professionals

‘Demystifying IT’ offers framework for developing culture of collaboration

DUBLIN, Ohio, 27 April 2017—OCLC today released Demystifying IT: A Framework for Shared Understanding between Archivists and IT Professionals, a follow-on report in the popular Demystifying Born Digital series designed to help archivists achieve a better understanding of how information technology professionals work so that they can be effective collaborators.

The report by Seth Shaw, Clayton State University, Richard C. Adler, University of Michigan Library, and Jackie Dooley, OCLC Research, describes types of IT providers and the services they typically offer, offers insights on the software development process, provides guidance toward building partnerships and emphasizes the centrality of resource constraints. Many of the issues described are relevant to librarians and archivists who work with IT colleagues on issues other than born-digital management.

"This report is intended as a brief introduction to IT to help digital archivists understand the priorities, techniques and culture of information technology so that they can be the most effective collaborators possible," said Dooley.

Today's digital archivist needs tools and platforms to ingest, manage and provide access to electronic records and digital content of all types. The complexity of digital systems makes the participation of IT professionals essential. Archivists have sophisticated domain knowledge, while IT staff have advanced technology skills. Working together effectively requires a desire to understand each other's expertise, priorities and constraints. It requires developing a culture of collaboration.

The new report is a companion to The Archival Advantage: Integrating Archival Expertise into Management of Born-digital Library Materials, which describes 10 core areas of archival expertise to help library directors, managers, IT professionals and other colleagues become aware of the benefits of incorporating archival knowledge into many aspects of digital library development and implementation.

Download a copy of the new report from the OCLC Research website.

About OCLC

OCLC is a nonprofit global library cooperative providing shared technology services, original research and community programs so that libraries can better fuel learning, research and innovation. Through OCLC, member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the most comprehensive global network of data about library collections and services. Libraries gain efficiencies through OCLC’s WorldShare, a complete set of library management applications and services built on an open, cloud-based platform. It is through collaboration and sharing of the world’s collected knowledge that libraries can help people find answers they need to solve problems. Together as OCLC, member libraries, staff and partners make breakthroughs possible.

OCLC, WorldCat, WorldCat.org and WorldShare are trademarks and/or service marks of OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. Third-party product, service and business names are trademarks and/or service marks of their respective owners.


  • Bob Murphy

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