If stereo types were accurate, the IT world would consist of darkened rooms with a lone programmer working late into the night rapidly typing code. Or brilliant students developing revolutionary ideas over beers as Facebook entrepreneur, Mark Zuckerberg, is portrayed in The Social Network. Or possibly, entire conferences filled with pocket protectors and a discussion of video games.
If stereo types were accurate, libraries would have rows of dusty encyclopedias leading to uncomfortable wooden chairs. A stern librarian would be frowning at patrons over spectacles topped off with a low bun. These stereotypes, while obviously false, shape our perspectives. So while the combination of libraries and the IT world seem horrifically un-stimulating, their existence in the real world creates a unique sector of IT.
Innovative Interfaces exemplifies this bridge between libraries and IT as Innovative “dedicates its energies to meeting the needs of libraries and the challenges of library automation.” Simply stated, Innovative Interfaces provides library software. Developed in 1982 Innovative saw remarkable changes; library catalogs were digitized, research functionality soared, web services expanded, self-check outs were developed, and generally, integrated library systems became increasingly advanced.
Think about our Milner Library homepage at ISU. While it is simple to use for daily tasks, the complexity in its’ design becomes clear after analysis. The “Search Anything” option quite literally must, “search anything”. This “anything” includes electronic resources, federal government resources, ISU archives, Metcalf School Library, Milner learning resources center, Milner library, Milner special collections, teaching materials center, University high school library, scholarly journals, digital collections, and more in an environment requiring interconnectivity. Every ISU student has a unique VuFind account and a unique Interlibrary Loan account. All specific class materials, checked out materials, materials requested from off campus locations, and other research and cataloging material must be stored.
This all in one package demonstrates the power of an integrated library system. While its capabilities are remarkable and certainly make students’ lives easier, the significance is in its design and implementation. IT has become a necessity in all types of business. Innovative’s headquarters are located in California and their work spreads worldwide. Solving problems for the library requires collaboration between two seemingly unassociated fields of library and IT professionals. This connection to IT is evident in accounting, insurance, history, psychology, biology, music, marketing, journalism, chemistry, nursing, renewable energy, mathematics, and nearly every academic major or career path.
Innovative Interfaces provides software for University of Hong Kong, Virginia Tech, UC Berkeley Boalt Law Library, Yale School of Law, and University of Glasgow. For 20 years, the highest technical advancements have been reached within libraries. Innovative works with companies including 3M, Amazon.com, EBSCO, Apple, IBM, and Oracle. It is possible to combine a specific personal interest with an IT profession. Take notice of how IT could fit into your major or career choice, or at the very least, admire the advancement Milner has made! Visit Innovative Interfaces for more information. Don’t forget to take the quiz on Blackboard.
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