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Workforce Transformation

Workforce Transformation: Possible Library Futures

I have held a series of administrative positions at Oklahoma State University (OSU) since 1978 and have been dean of libraries since 2004. During that time we have experienced a number of changes and in 2012 the OSU Library looked to be thriving. We had adopted technology to enhance collections and improve services. We had been a development partner with Summon and were in a similar role with Intota. We consistently received positive survey results and comments for our services and collections. Our building was heavily used by students. For most of my staff and many of my librarians, the library looked healthy and robust. We were clearly not stagnant, but I had a strong sense that many librarians had not yet acknowledged how precarious our future was in research libraries. Staff members who did not have opportunities to attend professional meetings or the time to read the professional literature were unaware of the danger we were in. They did not fully comprehend how the transformations in technology, scholarly communication, and higher education would change their work, nor did they recognize how the competitive challenges from Google and others could make our traditional services irrelevant.

 
 

New Workforce Transformation Story: Possible Library Futures

image © Tom SharlotARL’s Transforming Research Libraries (TRL) Steering Committee has published the third entry in its monthly column, Workforce Transformation Stories. Sheila Grant Johnson, dean of libraries at Oklahoma State University (OSU), contributed the August essay, “Possible Library Futures.”

 
 

New Workforce Transformation Story: Adding Value beyond Discovery

image © Tom SharlotARL’s Transforming Research Libraries (TRL) Steering Committee has published the second entry in its new monthly column, Workforce Transformation Stories. Tom Wall, university librarian at Boston College, wrote the July essay, “Adding Value beyond Discovery.”

 
 

Workforce Transformation: Adding Value beyond Discovery

For centuries, library work has been about building collections, and then managing them. More recently, the emphasis shifted to discovery and access, which in turn led to an emphasis on instruction and information literacy initiatives. In some sense, one could create a cogent argument that the combination of services and collections will sustain our work for the foreseeable future. However, it also seems that this same argument will not facilitate innovation or necessarily help us provide the much-needed shift to “value beyond discovery.”

 
 

Workforce Transformation Stories: ARL Launches Monthly Column

image © Tom SharlotARL’s Transforming Research Libraries (TRL) Steering Committee is pleased to announce a new monthly column on the ARL website devoted to stories of research library workforce transformation.

The column, Workforce Transformation Stories, is the outgrowth of many conversations and ARL activities, including the New Roles for New Times reports, Scenario Planning, the 2012 Human Resources Symposium, and Strategic Thinking and Design.

 
 

Workforce Transformation: It’s about the Work

When University of Maryland professor of sociology Philip Cohen was asked recently to consult with a graduate student on a journal article revision, the student had two challenges to satisfy his reviewers. The first challenge had to do with the complex use of GIS and geocoding; the reviewers wanted to see a particular deployment of GIS in the student’s US Census tract maps. The second challenge involved the use of census data itself. Professor Cohen easily offered advice on the latter and tried to think where the student could find help with GIS. No need, the graduate student assured him. The student had visited the campus library and gotten exactly the consultation he needed to incorporate GIS in his article revision.
 
 
 
 

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