SUNScholar/Capacity Building

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In the context of the library, the operational team provides information services, that are supported by the technical team using information systems, which are built and maintained in co-operation with the information technology department.



What is the difference between the operational and technical teams?

Let me try to explain by way of an analogy using something we are very familiar with, namely property development.

Property developers buy land prepared with roads and utilities by the local municipality and erect buildings for occupation by future businesses or residents.

  • In the same way the technical team, prepares "roads and utilities" by constructing a "data center" which houses networking and server equipment.
  • Then the technical team "erects buildings" by installing software on the servers.
  • The software on the servers is utilised by the operational team, the equivalent of "businesses or residents" to complete a specific function.

See links below and above for more information about specific functions of the operational and technical teams.

What are the functions of these people, with these new job descriptions?

There seems to be some confusion regarding the role and function of the people described in the links above.

Let me try to explain by way an analogy, using the medical services field as an example..

  • Hospitals are full of specialists and administrators.
  • Each is professionally trained to fulfil a specific task.
  • The hospital administrator ensures the smooth functioning of the hospital, for the benefit of the specialists, in order to provide an excellent service to patients.

So it is, with the greatly expanded and currently expanding, technology and information sciences fields, in that, more specialisation is becoming the norm, as it was and is, in the medical field.

And now an attempt to translate the medical services definition to a library services definition, in support of academic research publishing and archiving.

  • Academic libraries are full of librarians and directors.
  • Each is professionally trained to fulfil a specific task.
  • The open scholarship director ensures the smooth functioning of the open academic systems with the assistance of the operational and technical teams, in order to provide an excellent service to researchers.
What else can these teams do for the library and the institution?

These same teams, with their skills, are also then capable of enabling other open systems for the institution, for example:

Communities of Practice (CoP)

In lieu of the lack of professional training venues for open online scholarly publishing practice, it is suggested that communities of practice (CoP) be formed for both the "soft" and "hard" skills mentioned above.

Below is a brief introduction to communities of practice.

Below are some web site examples.
Scholarly Publishing Links

Click on the heading above for further references.

Give a person a fish and you feed that person for a day.
Teach a person to fish and you feed that person for a lifetime.
Complexity is easy to build, hard to use, and easy to charge for.
Simplicity is hard to build, easy to use, and hard to charge for.