Having witnessed many failed attempts at strategic planning during her twenty-year tenure at Elnora University, College Librarian Angela Wilson embarks on an organizational change process that she hopes will result in true transformation. The current library system is characterized by administrative silos, red tape, and excessive institutional hierarchy, resulting in little collaboration, slow decision-making, and turf battles. To address these issues, Wilson and her colleagues implement a new organizational plan. After 18 months and little improvement, however, they decide to go back to the drawing board. This time, they adopt a new approach, gathering broad input from staff and focusing on the changing environment and library users. The end result is a plan that preserves traditional library roles while leveraging new technologies. According to Wilson, this represents a “shift in emphasis away from handling things (books) to interacting with people (faculty and students).” This vision drives the new organizational structure, which is user-centered and team-based, and also allows staff to engage in continuous training and “stretch opportunities.” The transition proves successful, although there continue to be new challenges, such as learning to engage in assessment and frequent turnover in University leadership.
Subjects: Reorganization, Strategic Planning
Setting: Mid-Size Public
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