Faculty Publications

Leading Change in Academic Libraries

Catherine A. Cardwell, University of South Florida St. Petersburg
Colleen T. Boff, Bowling Green State University

Abstract

Institutions of higher education and academic libraries are not the traditional organizations they once were. They are subject to a variety of forces, including shifting and changing populations, technological changes, public demands for affordability and accountability, and changing approaches to research and learning. Academic libraries can no longer establish their excellence and ground their missions, visions, and strategic directions using the old means and methods.

Leading Change in Academic Libraries is a collection of 20 change stories authored by academic librarians from different types of four-year institutions. Librarians tell the story firsthand of how they managed major change in processes, functions, services, programs, or overall organizations using John Kotter’s Eight-Stage Process of Creating Major Change as a framework for examining change at their institutions, measuring their successes and areas for improvement, and determining progress.

In five sections—strategic planning, reorganization, culture change, new roles, and technological change—chapters discuss tackling common challenges such as fear, anxiety, change fatigue, complacency, unexpected changes of leadership, vacancies, and resistance; look at the results of their tactics; and provide effective practices they found. Each section ends with a thorough analysis of the stories within and the most effective tips for leading that kind of change. Leading Change in Academic Libraries can help you establish flexible, nimble, and collaborative decision-making processes, and facilitate the transition from legacy collections-based libraries to forward-looking service-based libraries.