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Let’s Get Together Thursday-Cross Campus Collaboration March 6, 2014

Posted by Brooke Ahrens in Check this out!.
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A guest post by Andrew Carlos, STEM and Web Services Library at CSU, East Bay

It’s easy to walk down the hall, knock on your colleagues door, and start a project. What if your colleague is across town? Across the country? Across the sea? Cross campus collaborations, though sometimes difficult, bring a variety of viewpoints to a project and could lead to a richer experience.

One of these benefits is disruption – when we have been working with the same people for years, we become comfortable and accustomed to how they work. It also creates a sense of complacency in that you know just how much you need to do to get something done. Speaking with a colleague at another campus forces you to open up your eyes to new possibilities and disrupts your train of thought – which can be scary at times! It allows you to bring in approaches, options and points of view that you may not have thought of that could end up being beneficial to your organization.

Speaking of points of view, it helps to collaborate with organizations that are different from yours. A great example of that is this blog post – this is the product of a collaboration between a private high school technology coordinator and a college web services librarian, done through Google Drive. Since we each serve a different community, we bring in different perspectives as we collaborate. With Brooke, she works very closely with students and for her, working with students is a completely separate beast from working with faculty. For Andrew, he works closely with faculty, with their demands and needs different from students.  By examining the issue from separate paradigms, we may raise concerns or solutions previously unexplored or considered.

The next time you are looking for input on a new project, a recurring issue, or a particularly challenging problem consider connecting with colleagues outside your work environment. Their fresh perspective, or sage advice, might be just what you need.



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