Academic reference librarians prepare for change: An Australian case study

Leong, J 2008, 'Academic reference librarians prepare for change: An Australian case study', Library Management, vol. 29, no. 1/2, pp. 77-86.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

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Title Academic reference librarians prepare for change: An Australian case study
Author(s) Leong, J
Year 2008
Journal name Library Management
Volume number 29
Issue number 1/2
Start page 77
End page 86
Total pages 10
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Abstract The study aims to identify strategies to enhance change readiness and professional competence in academic reference librarians in a time of organizational change and challenge. Design/methodology/approach: The author, as departmental head, was able to influence strategies taken and to directly observe and record processes and outcomes. Staff also participated in two surveys to establish and trace competence. Motivation to deal proactively with the changing environment was built through good communication and looking at likely future scenarios. Required competencies were established, skills assessed, goals set for professional development, and progress assessed. Staff participated in determining directions and took responsibility for implementing agreed actions. Findings: The paper finds that reference staff responded positively to enhanced opportunities to influence directions. They willingly took responsibility, developed new skills for a changing environment, and demonstrated effectiveness in new ways. Positive outcomes included recognition through a national award, successful grant applications and project work, and positive attitudes shown by staff at a time of organizational restructuring and downsizing. Practical implications: Reference staff capability to provide innovative services and to adapt to changing expectations and opportunities is enhanced by participation in management of library directions and through staff development. Originality/value: This case study offers insight into practical and inexpensive approaches to enhancing reference librarian change readiness and competence.
Subject Librarianship
Keyword(s) Change management
Reference services
Academic libraries
Employee development
Australia
DOI - identifier 10.1108/01435120810844667
Copyright notice © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN 0143-5124
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