Rich Mendola looks to the future of LITS in his latest town hall meeting

Photo of CIO addressing the LITS Division

Rich Mendola presents to LITS.

Enterprise CIO and Sr. Vice Provost for Library Services & Digital Scholarship Rich Mendola held the LITS Town Hall in the WHSCAB Auditorium last week. There were over 150 employees in attendance and over 70 who followed online.

Mendola opened the speech with a statistic. The turnover rate (percentage of employees in a workforce that leave during a certain period of time) in LITS is now 4.7%, the lowest it has ever been in the history of the organization, and one of the lowest rates across Emory. “This speaks to the environment we are trying to create and the work we are trying to do,” said Mendola.

Rather than doing his normal “fly by” of all of the LITS objectives for FY18, Mendola instead gave historical context regarding how he sees LITS evolving over time.

“This is the first year we have had stability on my leadership team,” said Mendola. He stated this means LITS has the right people and right structures to best fit the organization. He also cited the organization’s aggressive program of leadership training as a way of focusing on the staff.

Other LITS historical elements mentioned in the speech were a commitment to build and enhance the facilities, implementation of the correct technology systems, the fostering of sustainable revenue, and leveraging synergies, which Mendola described as “taking advantage of our ability to work more closely together.”

Next, Mendola discussed three initiatives as being representative of the future of LITS:

  • The Digital Library Program
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Leveraging healthcare information assets

Photo of employees at a staff meetingThe Digital Library Program – Following a period of foundational development, Emory Libraries is ready to develop the Digital Repository, which makes use of Emory’s rapidly expanding digital assets. Mendola expects 2018 to see more deliverables in this area now that the planning phase is nearly complete.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) – A project that began almost 24 months ago, Mendola believes AWS will redefine the way users interact with LITS’ computer resources. AWS will allow Emory to move all of its services to the cloud, giving the organization the ability to rethink its best practices. The plan will also give Emory broader redundancy, innovative capacity, and create value through increased automation and efficiency. According to Mendola, “It is a massive paradigm shift” for the organization.

Leveraging healthcare information assets – One of Emory’s advantages is that it generates millions of pieces of information that can be used to benefit patients. A pair of healthcare information projects in 2018 will greatly improve LITS’ ability to connect to the data, build applications and work flows, and move the data into AWS.

Mendola then opened the floor for questions from both the audience in the room as well as those online. One update he provided was that Emory’s new strategic planning efforts are multi-phased and underway.

Mendola said that he is hoping to do two town halls a year and that Provost Mike McBride is scheduled to speak in the fall.

In addition to Rich’s speech, there were employee recognition awards, as mentioned in last week’s article, 2017 LITS Significant Contribution Award winners announced.

If you want to listen to the speech in its entirety, use AdobeConnect at the link:

NOTE: There were a few problems with Rich’s audio and you will need to adjust your volume. You must use the passcode “1836” to access the recording.

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