Check out this interesting article, Strains and Joys Color Mergers Between Libraries and Tech Units
about the possibilities of merging librarians and IT departments to help provide user-centric services.
David W. Dodd, the CIO who arrived at Xavier University in 2005, said students and faculty members wanted three basic things: "Provide the services I'm looking for, in the manner I want, and get out of my way." They weren't getting any of them.
It doesn't look easy or comfortable, as you can see reflected in this quote from a failed merger:
Tensions arose when technology workers, ponytailed young men, began sharing the same office space with librarians, most of whom were older women, said Ms. Wagner. According to her account, the men brought in a huge microwave, were slobs, had messy cords dangling from equipment, and said they worked much harder than the librarians who left work at 4:30 and took breaks throughout the day.
While this may be a humorous quote, you can imagine some librarians being rocketed right out of their comfort zone as they experience being "blended" with IT staff. And it can be hard to imagine some IT departments ever refining their customer service skills to the standards most librarians pride themselves on. If this is the way things are headed we all need to start thinking about our current library culture and how we can integrate the best of both worlds to benefit our users.