Learning about the LIS Department

LIS Departments are often tucked away in a remote corner of the library, and rarely seen or even heard from.  But not at VCU!  Especially with the implementation of PRIMO/ALMA, LIS has been highly active, and very vocal.  Today I met with the head of LIS to learn more about the department, and how it works with other units.  So far, my only interaction with LIS has been finding a problem in the system, submitting a report, and getting a response via email once the problem was solved.

I learned that there are four units within LIS:
1.  Desktop Group
– Works on both public and employee machines
2.  Enterprise Systems
– Works on library systems such as ALMA, PRIMO, ILLIAD and D Space
3.  Web Systems
– Interfaces, custom programming
4.  Digital Systems
– Digitization, digital collections

The groups seem pretty logical, and I know they all do tons of work!  Some of them even provide support for groups outside of the library.  One group did seem a little odd to be in LIS, the Digital Systems group.  As I understood it, this unit not only maintains the systems for the Libraries’ digital content, it creates it.  The materials in the digital systems are part of the VCUL unique collections.  Special Collections sends materials to LIS for digitization.  I thought this was strange since in every other library I have worked in, or had some sort of experience with, digitization is done completely by Special Collections.  Special Collections departments are often their own little mini-libraries: creating and maintaining their collections within their department, with minimal outside support.  I’m curious to learn more about how this system works within VCU.

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