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New Workforce Transformation Story: Preparing for Unexpected Change

image © Tom Sharlot

ARL’s Transforming Research Libraries (TRL) Steering Committee has published the latest entry in its column, Workforce Transformation Stories. Beth Marhanka, head of the Gelardin New Media Center at Georgetown University Library, contributed the November essay, “Unexpected Transformations, Prepared for Years in Advance.”

In this piece, Marhanka describes the Georgetown University Library’s involvement in a campus-wide endeavor to promote innovative, IT-enhanced learning and online education, the Initiative on Technology-Enhanced Learning (ITEL), which launched in the fall of 2012. The library has been a key partner in ITEL from the beginning and library staff roles have evolved as a result. Marhanka observes that staff have built on a history of collaborating and providing high-tech services to become “consultants and partners in areas ranging from securing copyright clearance to managing media projects to archiving digital assets in the library’s digital repositories.” Marhanka concludes:

By being proactive, by forming collaborative partnerships, and by leading in the provision of services and technology, the University Library played a transformational role in a major initiative that will shape the future of Georgetown University. In so doing, it began a workforce transformation that it had not foreseen, but for which it had built the foundation years in advance.

ARL’s TRL Steering Committee hopes this monthly column will enable library leaders to point to evidence of trends and general truths, and to support organizational change. Collectively we will build a shared understanding of what it means to work in a research library and what skills and competencies are required.

Potential topics might include:

  • How evolving pressures and priorities in higher education are changing library work
  • The library’s role in promoting new technologies
  • Techniques for the successful on-boarding and mentoring of new library staff
  • Unique staffing models through campus collaborations
  • Innovative ways to provide professional development opportunities
  • Effective annual evaluation and promotion review processes
  • Successful reorganizations and the resulting organizational synergies

If you are interested in contributing a story, contact Judy Ruttenberg at judy@arl.org.

Subscribe to the RSS feed for Workforce Transformation Stories.

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.

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