I work at a small, private college that neither has the staff nor the resources to create a full-blown Information Commons. So, we compromised and merged our IT Department Helpdesk with the Reference Desk. We now have a couple of trained IT students who work at the Reference Desk/Helpdesk who can answer computer related questions and help students with Reference questions when I’m not at the desk. We now have two separate phonelines: one for Helpdesk and one for Reference. So now patrons have a number to reach a live, human being with their IT questions. This new arrangement has been working very well, and it has given me a chance to become cross-trained on IT issues. Colleges/Universities that see a need for such a merger may want to give it a try.

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