CAUL QUESTIONNAIRE - INTEGRATION OF LIBRARY AND COMPUTER
SERVICES (SCU 12 MAY 1997)
Page updated 5 June, 1997
Please find attached a summary of the results of the above questionnaire.
The questionnaire replicates VBAX (23/5/95) which was distributed
by Bill Hitchins.
Questions 14 and 15 did not form part of Bill's survey. Their
purpose was explained to you in a covering note by Alison Ransome
when the questionnaire was distributed on 10 January 1997.
It was not possible to present the results in the spreadsheet
format of VBAX (23/5/97), but I trust that will not hinder comparison
Thankyou all for your assistance.
Paris, 12 May 1997.
CAUL SURVEY ON INTEGRATION OF LIBRARY AND COMPUTER
SERVICES - 1997
Question 1 Is the Library Part of a Wider Administrative
1. ADFA* 1. ACU
2. ANU* 2. Adelaide
3. Ballarat 3. Deakin
4. Bond* 4. Flinders
5. Central Queensland 5. Melbourne
6. Charles Sturt* 6. Queensland**
7. Curtin 7. RMIT
8. Griffith 8. South Australia
9. James Cook 9. South Queensland
10. Macquarie* 10. Victoria
11. New South Wales 11. Western Australia
12. Newcastle* 12. Western Sydney
13. NTU* 13. Wollongong
15. Southern Cross
- (i) 30 CAUL libraries responded. No response was received
from Canberra, but some data have been derived from a complementary
survey directed to PVCs/Directors of Information Services and
are included in the interests of completeness
- (ii) Starred* libraries responded 'NO' to 1995 CAUL survey,
while Queensland** responded 'YES' in 1995 and 'NO' in 1997
- (iii) ACU, Adelaide, Deakin, New South Wales and victoria
were not included in 1995 Survey.
- (iv) Data are not available for La Trobe, Murdoch and Sydney,
but all were included in the 1995 survey and responded 'NO' to
Q.1 on that occasion.
- (v) The responses recorded for Western Sydney are those submitted
by UWS Nepean.
Question 2 If Yes (to Question 1), What is the
Name of the Unit?
Question 3 What Other Areas or Services are Included
in the Wider Unit?
2. Information Services Division
3. Computer Centre, Centre for Media Resources, Document Delivery
2. Information Services Branch
3. Computing (Administrative Networks, PC Support, Communications),
Media Technology Services (A/V Production) Print Centre, Possibly
2. Office of Information Resources
3. Information Technology Services (ITS)
2. Division of Library, Information and Media Services
3. Media Services, which consists of production and flexible learning
2. Division of Library Services
3. Archives, Art Collection
3. University Planning and Statistics, Quality Office, EEO Office
2. Division of Information Services
3. Information Technology Services, Griffith Flexible Learning
2. Academic Support Services
3. Computer Centre, Pedagogical Services, Teaching and Learning
Support and, eventually, Student Admissions
2. Division of Information Services
New South Wales
2. Division of Information Services
3. Academic Computing Support Unit, Communications Unit, Management
Information Support Unit (admin. computing), A/V Unit, University
Archives, Resources Management Unit
2. Information and Education Services division
3. Information Technology Services, Centre for Advanced Learning
and Teaching, Classroom and Theatre Services, Medical Communications
2. Information Services Division
3. Information Technology Services, Open learning, TOP FM (Radio
Station), NT TAB (Radio Network), Copyright
2. Division of Information Services
3. Dept. of Computing Services, Teaching and Learning Support
Services, Facilities Support Service Section
2. Information Services
3. Library, Information Technology, Audiovisual, Open Learning,
2. Information Services Group
3. Computing and Network Services, Applications and Management
Services, Media and Classroom Services, Multi-Modal Learning Unit,
Staff Development and Training (for ISG and other technological
staff), Quality and Educational Development.
2. Division of Information Services
3. Information Technology Services, Commercial Services (Computer
Shop), North West Centre
Question 5 Do Areas Still Retain Separate Identities
within the Unit?
Response: All libraries, except for Canberra which replied 'YES'
to Q.1, replied 'YES' to this question. No data available for
Question 6 Are Any Administrative Functions Carried
Out Centrally in the Wider Unit?
1. Ballarat 1. ADFA
2. Central Queensland 2. Bond
3. Charles Sturt 3. Curtin
4. Griffith 4. James Cook
5. New South Wales 5. Macquarie
6. NTU 6. Newcastle
8. Southern Cross
Question 7. Are there any Plans to Change the
YES NO MAYBE
1. Ballarat 1. ADFA 1. ANU
2. James Cook 2. Central 2. Bond
3 3. Griffith 3. Charles Sturt
4 4. NTU 4. Curtin
5 5. QUT 5. New South Wales
6 6. Tasmania 6. Newcastle
7 7. Canberra 7. Southern Cross
8 8 8. Swinburne
Question 8. Do the Library and Computing Report
to the Same Person?
Please refer to the listings in response to Q.1.
- (i) Of the 18 libraries listed in the 'YES' column, 15 also
responded 'YES' to Q.8. Three libraries, ANU, Central Queensland
and Curtin responded 'NO'
- (ii) Of the 13 libraries listed in the 'NO' column, 8 also
responded 'NO' to Q.8. Four libraries, Queensland, Southern Queensland,
Victoria and Western Sydney responded 'YES'. Western Australia
did not respond.
Question 9. Have Any Service Areas been Transferred
to/from the Library?
The following 12 libraries report transfer of services to or from
the Library. However, it is not always clear that a transfer of
responsibility has occurred, or if a Library has taken responsibility
for provision of a service not previously available.
- ADFA Intranet services
- ANU Research Register. Electronic publishing initiatives
- Ballarat A/V equipment and lap-top loans
- Central Queensland Video-conferencing
- Charles Sturt Acquired archives and art collection,
but lost Media Services Unit at Bathurst campus
- Deakin Transferred Publications List to Research
Office in 1995
- Griffith Information literacy training. IT Help Desk
integrated at Nathan campus
- New South Wales Acquired PABX, but Resources Management
and Archives transferred to Director's Office
- NTU Library computer system responsibility transferred
out, but library branches acquired unspecified additional responsibilities
- South Australia Library IT Support Team to be returned
to Library control from IT Unit
- Swinburne A/V/Classroom support. Off-air recording.
Computing services at Lilydale. Some Library computing support
staff transferred to Dept. of Applications Mgt. Services
- Tasmania Library Computing Support transferred to Corporate
Data Section of IT
Question 10 Have any Service Functions been Operated
Fifteen libraries report joint operations of a range of services,
most of which are IT based
- ANU Info Place in the J B Chifley Building
- Adelaide Student computer suite in the Library
- Ballarat Internet training. CD-ROM network. Information
Desk. WEB pages
- Curtin IT and Information Literacy training. Electronic
- Deakin Library provides 1st level Systems Help Desk.
2 general computing labs in Library
- James Cook Some joint training
- Macquarie IT Training. Directory services. WEB management.
IT Help Desk. Public access computing facilities.
- Melbourne IT training
- New South Wales E-mail for students. WEB coordination.
Information desk. Photocopying service. Student ID.
- NTU Help and Enquiry Point. WEB management. IT training
- Queensland Computing training "connect.uq"
- QUT Internet training
- South Australia IT training
- Swinburne Publications. CWIS. Staff development and
- Tasmania ITS Help Desk
Question 11. What Consultative Mechanisms Exist
Between the Library and Other Service Units?
- ADFA Regular meetings
- ANU Librarian and Director IT on respective committees
- Adelaide Fortnightly meeting of heads of divisions
reporting to DVC Research. Library and IT divisions meet informally
- Ballarat Regular meetings of IT and Services Committee,
plus sub-committees. Other regular meetings of team leaders
- Charles Sturt Regular meetings chaired by PVC (Planning
- Curtin Regular meetings of Librarian and Director of
Computing Annual meeting of senior staff of both divisions
- Deakin Librarian attends Vice-President (Administration)
Head of Division meetings. Monthly meetings of Library Systems
and ISTD senior staff. ISTD has a liaison person attached to Library.
- Flinders. Library and Inf.Services Div. are represented
on Information Technology Advisory Committee.
- Griffith Divisional Management Team. Divisional Planning
Committee. Ad hoc committees as required.
- Melbourne Regular meetings of Librarian and Director
- New South Wales Monthly meetings of Managers from Library
and Computing Weekly strategy meetings of senior staff with Director.
Ad hoc working parties as needed.
- NTU Information Services Executive Team, plus 2 elected
staff reps, meet regularly. Other working parties as required.
- Queensland Regular 6 weekly meetings of all areas reporting
to PVC Academic Services. Others as required.
- QUT Weekly meetings of Dept. Heads with PVC (Inf.Services)
- South Australia Meetings of heads of units
- Southern Cross Weekly meetings of Director with heads
of services. Fortnightly meetings of Management Advisory Group.
Six-weekly meetings of VC's Learning Support Committee.
- Southern Queensland Library and computing centre are
represented on a number of committees, standing and project committees.
- Swinburne ISG Executive provides advice to PVC through
- Tasmania Frequent unscheduled meetings of senior staff.
Monthly meetings of managers. Meetings of integrated information
- Victoria Library and IT are members of Academic Services
- Western Sydney Regular meetings between Library and
Computing. Consultation prior to any development work.
- Seven libraries ACU, Bond, Central Queensland, James Cook,
Macquarie, Newcastle and RMIT reported no formal mechanisms for
consultation. In some cases where integration is recent, there
is an expectation that mechanisms will be developed.
- Western Australia and Wollongong did not respond to this question.
Question 12 What Functions Do You Think Can/Cannot
- ACU Training. Help Desk. Publications and directories.
- ADFA Unspecified 'integration' is already in place,
and remarks further upon an interest at ADFA in 'outsourcing'.
- ANU "If not integrated, library, IT, multimedia,
a/v, teaching/ learning initiatives, OLA should be closely integrated"
- Adelaide "IT training and education could be integrated,
especially as regards use of computers and software, etc. I am
not so sure about training on information/knowledge content; at
the moment it is so interwoven with print information/knowledge
that it might be complicated. I still believe in the experience
of Librarians to interleave all this information in presentation
- Ballarat "Information Desk (HelpDesk and Reference
Desk). Network access. Training and Information Literacy. Desktop
Support. Multimedia. Reprographics (Printing and some Audiovisual)
- integration through networked copiers, video on demand, scanning
facilities, full range of photocopying services). Joint submissions
on matters where the information services and technologies converge
are more easily organised as an integrated proposal (and should
be more successful). Potential innovative solutions also lend
themselves more to integrated approaches".
- Bond "Possibly IT training, IT help-desk facilities,
- Central Qld. "I believe that there are opportunities
for many support and infrastructure groups to work together in
a coordinated way to ensure that faculties get the best advice
and service. Probably best done by developing support teams rather
than structurally integrating different support units. I do not
believe that the structural integration of disparate support groups
such as Library, IT, DDCE etc., is necessarily beneficial but
I do believe that more can be done towards coordinating these
groups in their support roles than tends to occur in universities
- Charles Sturt "These questions have more to do
with a university's structure than with the functions being integrated
or otherwise. Size of the other sections of the University and,
dare I add, geographical spread are also relevant".
- Curtin "It all works well as is"
- Deakin The response of Macquarie (see below) is endorsed.
- Flinders "Not many. Perhaps some aspects of IT
Training and some Help Desk functions."
- Griffith "Most core functions....can't be integrated".
"Our experience has demonstrated that training and enquiry
services can be integrated for library and IT areas. I think that
where the functions are essentially the same in different units,
potential for integration exists. I see no point in integrating
different functions, although there may be benefits in convergence
from an administrative point of view".
- James Cook John promises to reveal his mind in a year's
time! (E.P.'s note)
- Macquarie "IT training, University directory service,
Web management, IT Help Desk facilities, public access computing
facilities" "There is no point trying to integrate the
core business of Library and Computing Services. They require
different skills and different service organisational approaches".
- Melbourne "Cooperative database delivery and some
- NSW "It depends on the approach and philosophy.
My own view is that the delivery of functions should reflect the
best way of satisfying the users' need and that in turn will determine
how the function/service is structured organisationally. A lot
also depends on the definition of integration. Our Loans Section
works very closely with administrative computing and reader services
with Communications and Academic Computing support. Some areas
will also remain a special preserve of particular sections e.g.
the collection, the network, the central administrative computer
facilities but services depending on these may be integrated.
There are distinct cultural differences between the library and
computing side which need to be taken into account"
- NTU "Help, training, finance, personnel, contract
management, planning, quality, leadership".
Cannot be integrated? "Services requiring specific expertise
such as cataloguing, network management etc. and services requiring
points of presence e.g. loans"
- Queensland "Really depends on size of institution,
objectives etc. General Training"
- QUT "Some staff training and budget management,
customer surveying. Internet training, basic client queries".
Cannot be integrated? "Advanced information services, technical
processing, NIS, etc.etc."
- RMIT "The Libraries network services and technical
support services; Help Desk functions; equipment purchasing services
and joint contractual services; programming"
Can't be integrated? "Professional library functions".
- South Australia The response of Macquarie (see above)
- Southern Cross Close collaboration on help desk network
access, especially for off-campus students, some training, prepaid
service card system, web management, administrative support. Not
core business of each.
- Southern Qld. "Help Desk, some training, CWIS
development, possibly other Web publishing activities, though
at USQ the Distance Education Centre is also involved."
Can't be integrated? "Collection management, Library reference
services, Information Skills training (except for use of computer-based
services); Systems development and support; microcomputer support;
programming, network management".
- Swinburne "Staff Development; Training for internal
and external clients; networks; Computing; software applications;
AV Services; Overall budgeting and finance; Aspects of HR; CWIS
and aspects of electronic resources; Loans - equipment, books."
"High level information reference services; Aspects of the
management of 'library' resources including electronic resources."
- Tasmania "Boundary and overlapping functions"
Can't be integrated? "Core functions relative to libraries
- Victoria "Academic computing and networking could
be integrated. Administrative computing (with the exception of
the Library Management System) would be better not integrated"
- Western Aust. "All can be. The ones that should
be first are advice/support/training.
- Western Sydney "Some administrative functions
and possibly some training"
- Newcastle and Wollongong did not respond to this question.
Question 13 What Do You See as the Benefits/Pitfalls
- ACU "From the users' perspective there would be
a single service providing for their needs (even if there was
a significant division of labour behind the scenes)"
- ADFA "The benefits should be unambiguous lines
of responsibility, less expense and less time. The pitfall is
: responsibilities are transferred (mostly without attendant resources)
to a part of the institution without knowledge interest or commitment
to the activity involved and the subsequent disappearance of the
activity is deemed an economy.
- Adelaide "Benefits = less duplication of effort
Pitfalls = undue expectations of service"
- Ballarat "Pro. One stop shop - service cohesion.
Helps deal with convergence of technology. Small operation can
create better expertise and provide specialist services through
integrated unit. Joint administrative process better understood.
Flexibility and shared resources. Economies of scale. Knowledge
sharing with common purpose.
Con. Different cultures of IT and library. Resistance to change
with some staff (Stress for some staff from perceived pressure
to develop new or diversify into other skills). Perceived loss
of status as "specialist skills" disappear and technologies
converge (Loss of individual 'role' identity)"
- Deakin The Macquarie response (see below) is endorsed.
- Flinders "It probably depends on who is appointed
to manage the integrated unit. There is a danger that there could
be an excessive focus on technology rather than on information.
This would be to the detriment of the client focussed activities
of the library. The potential benefits of a well planned and executive
integration include the harnessing of scattered and scarce resources
and expertise into a stronger and more effective team, and the
relatively seamless provision of related services to the university
community. However the missions of the two areas are essentially
different. The library focuses on the provision of academic information
resources and services in support of the university's teaching
and research program. The mission of computing services relates
primarily to technical infrastructure. The library is an information
provider whilst computing services is an information carrier.
The staff skills required in the two areas are also essentially
different. Libraries also have a very strong service ethic and
recruits staff who are committed to assisting university staff
and students to identify, locate and make use of information resources.
The jury is still out on the question of integration. Close collaboration,
rather than integration, is a preferable option."
- Griffith "There has to be a good reason for integration.
Management needs to be realistic about potential savings from
integration. Integration is not likely to save money but is more
likely to provide better services."
- Macquarie "The benefits are predominantly in the
frontline customer services where the customer perceives a 'one-stop
shop approach'. There are also benefits in limited areas where
there is a significant overlap of skill sets. The degree of integration
that is achievable. The cultures of computing and library service
are very different and any attempt to develop a single culture
will almost certainly fail."
- Melbourne "While there would be economies of scale
there are problems with integrating such a wide range of activities"
- NSW "Benefits are better service to clients, better
support for Unit staff. Pitfalls include culture and values clash,
need for common goals may not be realised, loss of identity of
some areas, possible redistribution of funding."
- NTU "Major benefit is to the client by providing
a 'one stop shop' approach. There is the opportunity to focus
on our responsibility to provide academic support rather than
on our professional or technical expertise. The major pitfall
is to assume all areas can be managed the same way since they
differ in their needs."
- Queensland "Loss of clarity of mission. Association
with 'bad press'. Conflicting cultures"
- QUT "Benefits - simpler and less confusing processes
for the client - 'one stop shop'.
Pitfalls - loss of necessary specialist expertise and understanding
of individual areas."
- RMIT "Loss of focus on core businesses of both
IT and Libraries. IT, as defined at RMIT, focuses on the provision
of infrastructure and higher level programming support. User departments
focus more on the content that flows across the infrastructure."
- South Australia The Macquarie response (see above)
is endorsed and the following comment added: "I have looked
at this overseas and in Australia and remain unconvinced (sic)
that integration, except maybe in smaller institutions, is a political
and personally self-justificatory contrivance requiring considerable
investment for little or no client benefit."
- Southern Cross Benefit: Seamless frontline client service.
Pitfalls: Cultural differences, confusion over priorities and
values. Perception on the part of administrators that savings
can be made.
- Southern Qld. "Benefits: better customer service
when functions overlap.
Pitfalls: overly ambitious schemes which ignore discrete high-level
skills and different professional cultures can lead to less effective
outcomes and loss of productivity."
- Swinburne "Benefits: Saving in cost of management/administration;
Spread of 'library' culture of customer service within the ISG.
Working with the network and computing experts who provide a University
wide perspective on technological developments.
Pitfalls: Possible diminution of 'library' emphasis on immediate
service to the customer; Loss of status for the Library."
- Tasmania "Naive approaches that do not recognise
the major cultural issues, or that react to superficial analyses."
- Victoria "Potential benefits would be better planning
of information service delivery, more flexibility in the use of
staff, lower administrative costs.
Pitfalls might be a loss of focus and instability during the changeover.
- The following libraries did not answer this question: ANU,
Bond, Central Queensland, Charles Sturt, Curtin, James Cook, Newcastle,
Western Australia, Western Sydney and Wollongong.
Question 14 Have any Special Training or Re-Orientation
programs been Introduced as a Result of Integration of Services
to Unify Staff of the Various Service Areas, Increase Skills Base,
or Raise Client Service Focus, etc.?
- ANU "Will come from our Info Place initiative."
- Ballarat "Special training has been provided in
the integrated Information Desk....Also 're-orientation' has occurred
through the necessity to rethink strategic planning in terms of
the branch. This has been hastened by the consideration of funding
cuts as a Branch perspective by all team leaders."
- Central Qld. "Strategic Planning Retreat (2 days)
for the Division helped to re-orient the Division to a stronger
client focus, particularly for the EMS unit."
- Macquarie "Both the Library and OCS have adopted
a common total policy service approach to provide consistency
in dealing with perceived customer needs."
- NSW " A special training program has been implemented
for PABX and ACSU staff and Library staff who form the newly created
General Information Service. Quality accreditation processes implemented
in ACSU are now being carried out in Resources Management and
will be used in Library where appropriate."
- NTU "This will happen in our next phase: quality,
client service and similar training will be extended across the
Division from the work previously carried out in the Library and,
to some extent, ITS."
- Queensland "Academic Services departments participate
in joint customer service approaches, and also in some other training
- Swinburne "Yes - Significant training has been
undertaken. B. Donkin is the contact (03) 92148329; email@example.com"
- Tasmania "Yes. On all counts"
- Victoria "Training has been held in both IT and
the Library to improve client service focus, but not aimed at
integration of services."
Question 15 Do You Foresee the Development of a Single Unified
Information Services Workforce Where Staff May Move between a
Range of Jobs Without Reference to Existing Professional Groupings
Such As Librarians, Programmers, Network Specialists etc.?
- ACU "In some areas where there is overlap this
might occur but generally the answer would be no"
- ADFA "Foresee is a word I can't deal with. Hope,
however, springs eternal and I certainly hope not".
- ANU "Yes"
- Adelaide "Not really, except perhaps in such areas
as maintenance, basic skills training, etc."
- Ballarat "Not a unified workforce, but certainly
one where some individuals move more easily between functions.
I feel that the boundaries between the various occupations will
blur more. Multiskilled individuals will be the more versatile
of our workforce and will be more flexible in their placement,
but there will remain a need for some specialists or specific
occupations to remain (eg foreign language cataloguers, UNIX system
administrators, TV producers)? Many jobs will have elements of
several previous specialisations (in much the same way as systems
librarians are often hybrid)". "Our Director, Gerry
Anderson, made an additional observation about convergence issues
for the library at Ballarat. I have paraphrased it below:
The question to be considered is whether the library remains as
a traditional library, or as a 1990's version of the 1970's concept
of "Resource Centre" Issues which contribute to this
decision include "Access Versus Storage" and "Content
- Bond "Provided the staff member has the skills
to effectively perform the duties required there should be no
reason why they cannot move between a range of jobs. However the
current planning is to develop a cooperative and collaborative
workforce rather than a unified one."
- Central Qld. "In the best of worlds, this would
be possible but the multi-skilling required for such an activity
is such that I am not sure that it will ever occur. It appears
that what is more likely to occur is the evolution of a small
group of multi-skilled people who may become the interface to
other sections of Divisions. This may, however, only work in small
organisations such as mine"
- Charles Sturt "The SITUATION IS becoming more
fluid. However, there are a range of skills needed by the University
and they can't all be held equally well by all "information"
staff. I think we have a large task which should call on many
- Deakin The comment by Macquarie (see below) is endorsed.
- Flinders "No"
- Griffith "I think there will always be a need
for specialist staff. One area where there may be potential for
integration which we haven't yet tried is in marketing e.g. the
Information Services equivalent of an account manager for a particular
client group. This would incorporate current library liaison and
IT liaison roles"
- James Cook "No"
- Macquarie "No. It is probably unachievable. Good
working relationships between service support areas are essential
and collaborative models are probably the best approach".
- Melbourne "No"
- NSW "Unlikely as the level of skill needed in
these areas is such that few individuals will be able to operate
at an appropriately expert level in all areas. Envisage though
that all staff will gain increased skills in all areas which will
help them perform better in their specialist area.Envisage creation
of virtual teams bringing together the skills needed to provide
service to clients according to their needs".
- Newcastle No
- NTU "Yes and no. I think we have been seeing some
of this flexibility for some time through systems librarians,
Web masters, information skills trainers, etc. However, we still
need specialists and will continue to do so. I think the roles
are changing with some convergence but also differentiation. I
guess this is not too different from the past in which a confirmed
cataloguer could in theory become a reference librarian (or vice
versa) but they had to demonstrate their capacity to handle the
very different requirements of that position."
- Queensland "No"
- QUT "Not entirely - some generalised "shopfront"
work may be possible, but too much specialised expertise is required
for complete integration"
- RMIT "No"
- South Australia The comment by Macquarie (see above)
is endorsed and the following is added "Librarians are reflective
educators - programmers are essentially technicians"
- Southern Cross Multiskilled individuals will be more
- Southern Qld. "No"
- Swinburne "Not entirely. There will be further
blurring on the margins than at present, but the necessity to
retain core expertise will I think remain. We tend to be putting
the skills of the different professional groupings together to
work, and this means new skills for everyone concerned, but the
main advantage is the sharing of professional expertise and specialities
at this stage."
- Tasmania "No. Either or both professions will
have disappeared first. However some staff are mobile (eg we just
recruited to ITS a person with Library and ITS qualifications)."
- Victoria "Yes, but I think Librarians will continue
to deal mainly with service delivery with IT staff dealing mainly
with the infrastructure support."
- Western Aust. "No"
- Western Sydney "No"
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