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The Future of Libraries is IT


Kenning Arlitsch

on 26 November 2013

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Transcript of The Future of Libraries is IT

The Future of Libraries is IT:
and some people just don't get IT

Anecdotal evidence of discontent with
organizational culture of libraries

We wanted to put data behind the anecdotes
Maloney, Antelman, Arlitsch, Butler.
"Future Leaders' Views on Organizational Culture" College & Research Libraries, May 2010
Pre-print: http://bit.ly/futureleaders
What else we learned
What we learned
Librarians prefer more flexible
and externally focused culture
Librarians feel thwarted by
current organizational cultures
Competing Values Framework (CVF)
"Our users constantly tell us, though words and actions, that they use technology constantly in every aspect of their work and research, and yet we don't train or hire an adequate number of librarians who can respond to these needs."
"The web...will never decrease in importance, and we've never staffed ourselves for success here."
"1) Leverage the massive amounts of data that we have available and build innovative services that reveal research collections to patrons

2) hire technologists to create such services."
"AACR2-MARC-OCLC cataloging"
"Traditional reference services need to end."
"We persist in using systems (both technical and organizational) that confound users, and then create an instruction empire to unconfound them, with the predictable less-than-stellar results. If we put half the energy into system and organizational design that we put into user instruction currently, we'd be doing a better job for our users. I often think that 'information literacy' is a concept that arose from bad interface design and system architecture."
"Move staff from traditional library collections to e-resources, thus making print the specialty and e-resources
the locus of 80% of our efforts."
"... academic libraries are not providing the best online access to their resources. Examples include difficult-to-use catalogs and websites that are not keeping up with modern technologies and new ways of learning...

Librarians are wonderful at one-on-one, face-to-face time, but how many users are we losing who try to access resources or find online help and leave (never to come back) in frustration?"
Do More
To what extent do you feel that your libraries organizational structures and processes limit your impact or effectiveness?
Conducted a survey of 240 future leaders

72% response rate
93% answered open-ended questions
Our questions:
Are future leaders satisfied with their organizational cultures and management styles?
Does their current organizational structure limit their effectiveness?
not niche
value risk
over the top
We invite your comments, questions

Kenning Arlitsch, Univ of Utah
Kristin Antelman, NCSU

LITA Forum 2009
Salt Lake City, UT
We don't invest enough in areas of future growth, and we continue to invest in low-value functions
We don't employ technologies intelligently, and we fail to develop technically-proficient professionals.
We are a deeply conservative profession and have been slow to react to new technological service demands of users.
Traditional organizational hierarchies and management styles thwart younger librarians' efforts to make an impact.
The organizational culture and management style
that IT staff find productive is the same type of
organization all librarians want to work in.
lack of technical
continued focus on
low-value functions
inability to employ
technologies effectively
Do Less
The ability of organizations to succeed in times of change is often attributed to organizational culture
Full transcript