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Sustaining a Collaborative Organization in a Changing Environment

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Sustaining a Collaborative Organization in a Changing Environment Powered By Docstoc
					SUSTAINING A COLLABORATIVE ORGANIZATION
                  IN A
       CHANGING ENVIRONMENT



                     Gale S. Etschmaier

      Associate University Librarian for Public Services
       Gelman Library, George Washington University
OVERVIEW


•   BACKGROUND
•   DEFINING THE FUTURE SHAPE OF THE LIBRARY
•   IMPACT OF GENERATIONAL SHIFTS ON COLLABORATIVE
    MODEL
Gelman Library
George Washington University
  Located in Washington, DC
  Mission reflects link to location,
  opportunities for internships, etc.
Enrollment/Student characteristics
On-Campus                          20,318
Off-Campus Enrollment              3,672

 Undergraduate Students 10,556
 Graduate Students      12,389
   (Includes Doctoral Students and Professional
     Degrees)
Gelman Library System Culture
History of Collaboration
Strategic Plan Goals
    1999 : become a learning organization
    2000 : develop a culture of assessment
Work with consultants
    transform organizational culture
    develop staff facilitation skills
             Education
                and
             Instruction


 Training &            Reference
Professional           Collection
Development REFERENCE Development
             AND
         INSTRUCTION

      Research        Reference
       Guides          Services
Areas of strength/emphasis


Strong Instruction Program Supporting
University Strategic Plan
Collaboration with new University Writing
Program
Staff with a Strong User Focus
Changes:
Challenges & Opportunities



   Department Head left in August 2005
   Four new librarian positions
   New Director of Advancement
      Plan to prioritize funding main service floor
Restructuring
Reference and Instruction

  Early notification of staff
  Affinity diagram to capture concerns,
  issues for long and short term
  Brainstormed structural models
  Formed volunteer teams to explore long
  term and short term structures and make
  a recommendation
  Both groups explored pluses and
  minuses for each of models
    New Structure:
Triad/Troika/Triumvirate


              Collection
 Instruction Development


       Reference
Requirements for new structure
 Coordinators for each
 group to work closely
 together
 Issues identified:
 Priorities, workload,
 reporting structure
Challenges of new structure
Communication
Developing programmatic approach to
new services
New reporting relationships and finding
and developing new group leaders
Moving forward with planning for future
services during a transition
  Breaking Down Barriers

Redefining Reference Futures
Role of Reference
Role of Technology
Print Reference Collections
Planning for the future:
What will services look like?

Looking at User Perceptions

     Gelman Library Student Advisory Board and Student
      Liaison
     OCLC’s Environmental Scan (2003) and Perceptions
      of Libraries and Information Resources
     Data from LibQUAL+ survey in 2003
     Data from current LibQUAL+ survey (spring 2006)
     Focus groups of high school students and others
Focus Group Plans


  School Without Walls Students
  University Writing Program Freshmen
  Graduate Students
  Faculty
  Library Staff
OUTLINE OF FOCUS GROUP
DISCUSSIONS

 Focus Group leader from outside the Library
 but with Library staff participation
 Pictures of current first floor and Three-
 dimensional plans
     Reactions to each: what works; what doesn’t?
 Free-form discussion to determine what like
 library services and spaces should look like
 Scripted questions in case the group is
 unresponsive
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

 Who has used focus groups or has
 considered using them?
 What worked well and what didn’t?
 Once you obtained information, how did
 you use this with staff (especially
 skeptical staff) and what did you do with
 the information?
 What would you do differently?
    Collaboration Issues

Challenges of working with units outside
of the Library
Denying the value of user perceptions
Challenge to communicate,
communicate, communicate
Generational collisions
Communication and Denial


Redefining Reference may invalidate the work
librarians do
Question how students want to do research
and how they should do research
    Generations in Libraries
Traditionalists (Born 1900—1945)
   Loyal, hardworking
Boomers (Born 1946—1964)
   Competitive, “live to work,” political
Generation Xers (Born 1965—1980)
   Tech savvy, skeptical, change jobs regularly,
    “work to live”
Millennials (Born 1981—1999)
   Confident, collaborative, protected, change
    careers regularly
Graying/Succession Planning

  Generation Xers are moving into
  managerial positions
  Traditionalists and some baby
  boomers are retiring
  Collaboration is embraced by baby
  boomers and Xers (as members)
Millennials have arrived!
WHAT WILL BE THE IMPACT OF
GENERATION X MANAGERS?


  Collaborative
  Skeptical
  Direct communicators
  Limited patience with meetings
  Life balance
IMPACT ON COLLABORATION


 Much of our collaboration is based on
 face-to-face meetings—will Gen Xers do
 this, or will they develop a new
 collaboration technique?
 Will Gen X managers be interested in
 consensus and group process or will
 they be more directive?
WHAT WILL BE THE IMPACT OF
MILLENNIALS IN THE WORKPLACE?


   Collaborative
   Believe their opinions are valued
   Not intimidated by authority
   Have “Helicopter Parents”

				
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