Texas Tech University Library

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Introduction

The Texas Tech University Library system is the 3rd largest academic library system in Texas.1 The Main Library houses a federal repository, and provides students and the public with access to thousands of electronic resources through public computers and remote servers.

Lunar eclipse picture taken with a camera checked out from the library

In 1999, the Library underwent a major renovation to provide more room for staff and students. Beginning in 2000, computers were upgraded from simple catalog browsing terminals to fully functional workstations.

During this time Natalie participated in the regular workings of the University:

  • Served on hiring committees
  • Led the Staff Development Committee, which assisted staff in learning new skills and gave scholarships for travel and conferences
  • Served on the Native American Faculty and Staff committee
  • Participated in professional peer gatherings to exchange tips, problems, and ideas with colleagues
  • Hosted a "Get To Know Us" session with the Library staff and others to familiarize them with our services

Early Years (1999 to 2004)

Initially the computer support unit had been called "Automation" as the function was to primarily automate the cataloging and searching for materials in the Library. The name changed in 2000 to Information Technology Support Department (ITSD). Services had been added piecemeal and haphazardly, resulting in a server room full of elderly switches, one-time desktops, powerful servers, and CD Jukeboxes.

Natalie migrated services to uniform servers running Windows or Linux, and integrated the local domain into the University computing framework.

Natalie also extracted data from two library systems (DRA and Innovative) to be imported into a single product (Aleph). Once the process was complete, she was charged with the maintenance of the software and its databases.

Other accomplishments

  • Hired and managed student employees
  • Hired and managed full time staff
  • Managed upgrades and backups
  • Formulated the Help Desk policies
  • Assisted other departments with setting up their help desks
  • Evaluated new services for implementation
  • Physically relocated the department and designed the new server room

Increasing Services (2005 to 2008)

Funding for the Library increased, providing money for more sophisticated computer equipment for students. Projects to upgrade the computers, add printing, and updating internal and external processes were swiftly approved.

  • Pay for print - which let students use their TechID to seamlessly pay for printing
  • New PCs pre-loaded with academic software from around the University
  • New digital collections software to present archive materials online to remote students
  • New copiers and scanners that paid their way with coin-op services
  • Consolidation of staff printing to minimize downtime and toner/ink inventory
  • Began the migration of Library hardware to the Campus Data Center

New Staff and Units (2008 to 2011)

The ITSD unit was renamed to Library Technology Management Systems (LTMS). New staff and faculty positions were added, and the Digital Media Studio (DMS), which makes A/V equipment and movies available to patrons, was integrated into the department.

During this time there was a short reorganization during which various functions of the new LTMS were organized into teams that elected their own management. Natalie was elected head of Operations, which included the DMS public desk and the Help Desk staff and functions.

During this time, she

  • Hired new front desk staff
  • Trained new student workers for the public desk
  • Resolved patron issues that escalated
  • Supervised a massive cleanup and reorganization of the video library
  • Helped the Digitization Lab with installing new equipment for massive digitization projects

LTMS was reorganized once again along more traditional lines. Natalie was charged with the Help Desk and with creating a Software Development team.

  • Hired and managed development staff
  • Integrated the existing ITIL compliant Help Desk into the Campus IT system
  • Trained support staff and end users to use the Kayako Help Desk system
  • Joined the project for a major upgrade to the Aleph software after the previous technical lead became unavailable
  • Created the Service Level Agreement wiki to inform users of the services provided and the length of time they should expect for resolution
  • Worked with the new Project Management Office to move the intranet from outdated software to the Campus Sharepoint site
  • Worked with the Texas Digital Library to install repository software and hire staff for the remote help desk
  • Worked with the Digital Librarian Joy Perrin to move digital collections from expensive, marginally useful platforms to home grown wikis.
  • Presented the wiki concept with Joy Perrin at the Texas Digital Libraries Conference (2012) (as Natalie Bueno)
  • Shepherded several Development projects to successful completion

Specialized Unit and new Management (2011 to 2014)

The Library Systems Office was created in 2010 to handle the increasingly complex catalog, electronic database, proxy systems, and reporting systems of the Library. This office is staffed primarily with Library faculty, and Natalie was the technical adviser and trainer

  • Integrated the new unit into the LTMS support structure for simpler handoff
  • Created the on call schedule as well as decision trees for service interruptions
  • Continued work on wiki evangelism and support
  • Shaped the beginnings of Occam's Reader
  • Created a small data warehouse to inform purchasing decisions
  • Migrated systems to vendor hosted hardware

After Natalie relocated to California, the position was moved to the LTMS Development group.

References

1. Wikipedia: Texas Tech University Academics