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Workforce Transformation: Communities of Practice as Tools for Organizational Change and Self-directed Professional Development

Last year, ARL’s New Role for New Times report, Transforming Liaison Roles in Research Libraries (PDF), by Janice M. Jaguszewski and Karen Williams, identified six trends in the organization and practices of leading research libraries and the changing work of liaison librarians. One of those trends is the effort by research libraries to “create and sustain a flexible workforce.” Building a flexible workforce includes a variety of methods to “transform” a library’s workforce, including hiring new staff with new expertise, as well as committing to develop a more agile “legacy workforce.” (p. 14)

 
 

New Workforce Transformation Story: Communities of Practice as Tools for Change

image © Tom SharlotARL’s Transforming Research Libraries (TRL) Steering Committee has published the fourth entry in its monthly column, Workforce Transformation Stories. Kelly Broughton, assistant dean for research and education services at Ohio University Libraries, contributed the September essay, “Communities of Practice as Tools for Organizational Change and Self-directed Professional Development.”

 
 

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.”

 
 

Elliott Shore Discusses ARL Strategic Thinking and Design in Europe, Canada, US

elliott-shoreElliott ShoreDuring the first three weeks of July, ARL executive director Elliott Shore travelled to Europe, Canada, and across the US to participate in five gatherings that focused on libraries, higher education, leadership, and innovation: the LIBER Conference, the Jisc-CNI Conference, the Breakthrough Models Academy, the ARL Leadership Fellows Institute, and the Aspen Institute’s Roundtable on Institutional Innovation. These events provided Shore with an opportunity to expand on the various initiatives informed by and resulting from ARL’s strategic thinking and design process.

 
 

Alternative Academic Careers: Potential Benefits to PhDs and the Academy

elizabeth-waraksaElizabeth WaraksaIn a post today on the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Re.Thinking blog, Elizabeth Waraksa, ARL strategic thinking and design research fellow and former CLIR postdoctoral fellow, reflects on how working with collaborative, interdisciplinary teams has changed her outlook on academic career options. She discusses her experiences working on three discrete projects: the open access UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology, CLIR’s Observations on Scholarly Engagement with Hidden Special Collections and Archives study, and ARL’s strategic thinking and design research work stream.

 
 

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.”

 
 
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