LAUC Organizational Cultures

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-Librarians believe they must be generalists who can do all the new and old tasks done by librarians, but they are unable to do so

-Librarians need more and more training on technical (and management) issues to develop new skill sets

-Culture – changing the culture(s) will be the biggest hurdle. UCLA & UC Berkeley see themselves as the flagship campuses and are not willing to give up immediacy of local copy and are reluctant to carry lesser budgets of smaller campuses.

-Generally, we would like to see more formal goal setting. We discussed the possibility of tying goals to reviews, but realized there would be a lot of issues related to how that would be implemented before we would feel comfortable with it. (7 dots)

-Reward creativity and innovation (11 dots)

-Reward “soft skills,” such as collaboration, communication and project management (we think that a successful project manager has to excel at “soft skills” (13 dots; one comment that “soft skills” does not mean “easy”)

-Reward initiative, process and effort, not only accomplishments (10 dots)

-Flattening UC Library Management

In order for our libraries to transmute less into more, becoming nimbler, smarter, and more effective in the process, we believe that management will need to become flatter, more transparent, more capable of taking calculated risks, more cooperative with other libraries and CDL, and generally better able to empower library/librarian expertise at all levels.

-because we have the experience and the expertise. Because two heads are better than one. Because problems arise in an instant, and solutions will have to be devised and implemented in real time.

- More than ever before, it is highly recommended that LAUC cohere, now, as the substantial advisory body it was meant to be; that it begin to take risks on the level of the challenges affecting us; that it address sensitive, core issues systematically; and, that it make substantial contributions towards developing sensible models of the future for UC libraries and librarians. It is important to note that it is within LAUC’s purview to advise not only ULs but Provosts, Chancellors and Regents as well. LAUC has a critical and unique perspective, and it is uniquely positioned to be a major contributor in the dialogue on UC Library futures. Lets rise to the occasion.


9. Organizational Cultures

a. Communication issues with library administration

  • Structure of library bureaucracy needs to reexamined; the library management contrasts with the rest of academia in remaining static while deans and department heads rotate
  • There needs to be improved lines of communication
  • Quicker responses
  • administration counterclaims: communication efforts ignored, need two-way communication with timely input to administration in the spirit of the Principles of Community; difficult, unavoidable decisions should not be cause for shooting the messenger
  • dangers of toxic self-perpetuating culture of negativity and inaction among librarians/staff
  • free-form committees offer advantages over rigidly agenda-driven ones
  • previous discussion indicates an information bottleneck in the practice of filtering communications from administration to staff through department heads; suggested remedies were to publish all minutes and to use notation clearly indicating action items, this has been unevenly adopted.
  • need to consider ways to create an innovative environment that is proactive and encourages a sense of creativity and freedom to explore solutions to our challenges
  • need to find ways to cultivate library community for example through social events such as ice cream socials and planned retreats

b. Communication with systems

  • claims that Systems restricts access to technology and does not respond adequately to requests
  • counterclaims that Systems acts to maintain security and must deal with technical challenges that are not apparent outside

c. Optimal future

  • Improved communication with regular face-to-face meetings among parties involved e.g. Systems representation on RISC.
  • A "Velvet Revolution" of an improved communal culture with frequent social activities


9. Organizational Cultures in libraries See comment and question above in 3. Personnel.

9. Organizational cultures in libraries - The culture of most internal library functions is changing as the work changes, but at a difference pace in different units. How can we best help staff develop complementary goals and help them keep moving collaboratively across units as these changes occur?

9. Organizational Culture Librarians: Which aspects of organizational culture at your institution affect your work directly? Which aspects are supportive? Which aspects are obstacles? In what practical ways should the organization change to meet your evolving professional needs?

-Org culture – how we do business, may be overt or covert

-how slow change occurs, attachment to how we currently do things, resistance to change

-many impediments to change

-culture is rarely questioned & smothers new ideas

-LAUC’s relevance – is it? need to make ourselves more visible

-lots of librarians not outward looking, only focused

-Librarians not viewed as essential to research, teaching

-disconnection between with services we deliver & perception of who makes these available

-Not effective at telling our story

-We don’t know what to let go of, what to take on

-Strike balance between just in time and just in case

-Great faith and belief in our systems – this attitude works against new ideas and approaches – fear of unknown, of looking bad, huge problem of how to deal with everything that’s gone on before (retro catalog?) – how much to our students care about this?