OXFORD UNIVERSITY IT SUPPORT STAFF GROUP
IT News and IT Support Staff
Meeting 8 January 2001 - Item 4.2
4 January 2001
OUCS publishes a monthly news sheet IT News which is sent to all IT support staff as well as Libraries, College common rooms, IT representatives on committees etc. Tony Brett has suggested that we look at having a publication specifically for IT support staff. I agree that this would be a very good idea and this paper looks at the possibility of doing this.
In December 1996 I wrote a short internal paper suggesting that the old newsletter be replaced by a news sheet. I quote from the paper:
'I suggest that the newsletter should take a different format and be a news sheet which is about IT at Oxford University. Electronic versions of these news sheets will be placed on the WWW, where topics may be expanded if necessary. It would not be an OUCS publication (we would still do the actual work but we should encourage other IT support staff to contribute).'
IT News was started in February 1997 and called IT News and OUCS is only mentioned as the publisher.
IT News does perform an official function as being one of the places where formal statements are made to the user community. But how many 'users' actually read IT News? Is this the best way of getting IT information to users? I think it is appropriate to look at changing the emphasis of IT News and hence the way of communicating with IT Support staff and with users. Since most users now look to their local IT support person for information about IT then the appropriate place to send technical technical and policy changes etc is to them. The IT Support staff would then forward the information to their users as appropriate.
I therefore suggest the following:
If we are replacing IT News, which is currently sent to areas where users can easily read it, with a sheet which is geared towards IT Support staff then we need to ensure a few things:
[To overcome some of these problems OUCS could look into publishing a short OUCS Newsletter which would be distributed with the termly advertising of leaflets, notices, training details etc.]