Circulation 2000: How to Focus Departmental Resources to Meet the Challenges in an Ever-Changing Environment
Speakers: Frances Maloy, Head, Circulation, Emory University; Catherine M. Shiel  Manager, Circulation and Reserve Unit, Emory University.

Abstract
This presentation outlines the planning, design and implementation processes used to redesign the Circulation and Reserve Units of the Woodruff Library at Emory University. Managing the changes resulting from the redesign will also be described. The presenters will highlight what they learned from their successes and failures throughout the 2+ year period.


Outline
  1. History of Circulation's Redesign
  2. How We Brought the Vision and Values of the Department into our Daily Work Activities
  3. How We Identified and Allocated the Resources We Needed to Implement the Goals of Our Strategic Plan
  4. Buy in
  5. Managing Change
  6. Wrap-Up


1. Introduction: History of Circulation's Redesign

Catherine and I are very excited about being here and sharing with you our experiences of redesigning a traditional circulation department into one that is team based, focused on the needs of the customer and on the work, and has the skills and resources available to grow and adapt to our changing environment.

To set the stage, let me tell you a little bit about Emory University. In Atlanta, GA, is a research institution with 20,000 students split pretty evenly between Grad Students and Undergraduates. The General Libraries are made up of 3 libraries - Chemistry, Music and Media and the Woodruff Library. Woodruff being the largest library on campus with over 1 million volumes. (there are also 4 other libraries on campus) Catherine and I work in the Woodruff Library. I manage the Circulation Department and Catherine supervises the Unit that provides circulation and reserve services of 10 staff. Circulation and Reserves were separate departments and in different buildings until their merger in the new library addition this August, 1997.

The new addition is called the Center for Library and Information Resources, because it house both librarians and technologists who work together to create new services and information.

Planning for the new library addition had been ongoing since I arrived in 1992. Emory is a member of Internet 2 and the Digital Library Foundation, we have an electronic text center, It was clear to me that Circulation also needed to move in this same direction. Emory University Library structure was hierarchical and still is, but mid way through Circulation's redesign, both the Collections and Technical Services Division and the Library began redesign efforts to a team based structure.

When I was hired, I was told that my department was a source of consistent complaints. The administration was not happy with the work that we were doing. Problems that I identified in the Circulation and LRC Units included low morale, unmotivated staff, lost of work not being done and a lot of blaming each other and outside groups for why. The Department suffered from very high turnover. New staff were hired by Circulation, but then would leave for a higher paying, less stressful job in the library.

The staff perceived patrons as untrustworthy and as the enemy. Patrons perceived staff as rude and incompetent. The staff perceived the library as unsupportive, unappreciative and irresponsible. The staff felt that they were the dumping ground for any job not worthy of other departments. The administration perceived the staff as unprofessional, incompetent and underutilized.

Everyone's perception of each other was true.

My initial approach to working with my new staff was to "give" power to them. by asking them to feel comfortable to make their own judgment in interpreting circulation policy when working with patrons.

I had no change process developed, I was prepared for a negative reaction, and that staff would get over it after a while.

I was seen as setting the staff up for failure. The "gift" I was giving them was seen as a bomb. A bomb that would blow up in their faces when they tried to use it. I decided I didn't have the appropriate skills and knowledge to handle the situation and sought out professional help. I attended many workshops on management, planning, change and organizational culture.

I tried different ways to direct, support, and motivate the staff. I made some progress, but still too much work was not getting done, resistance to new services and change was too high, turn over was still to frequent. This was a very frustrating situation - I saw with my own two eyes staff sitting doing nothing, but yet when I would ask them to take on a project, they'd say no they were too busy, or they'd take it on but not finish it. In the Fall of 1995 I learned how to do strategic planning in a week long workshop by ARL OMS. The process seemed to me to be a great way to pull the staff together to plan for the future.

The ARL/OMS Strategic Planning is a process of redefining, rethinking, reordering priorities based upon environmental issues to create new futures. Questions you ask yourself during SP include, where are you? where are you going? how can you get there? what decisions must you make now to get there? how will you know when you are there? Our Strategic Planning process was open and participatory. We were all on equal ground.

Outcomes Of Sp

Vision Statement:

We will educate and serve by creating excellence in information access while fostering a spirit of mutual respect and supporting our need for growth.

Values:

  1. Responsible: we are self-reliant, do what needs to be done, enjoy a sense of accomplishment.
  2. Open-minded: we are broadminded, able to problem-solve effectively, open to changes
  3. Self-esteem: we are independent, confident, have self-respect and respect for others, we value differences.
  4. Pursuit of Happiness: we enjoy our jobs, we are happy to be at work, work is stimulating and exciting, we have the freedom to act responsibly, we are learning.
We developed 8 goals, selected 4 to work on over the year, 5% of our time. We broke up into groups and Catherine and I, along with 2 staff worked on
the following goal:

1.    To create, maintain, and improve upon departmental structure to support our vision statement.

We used the data from Strategic Planning as our "mission". Key concerns that were surfaced during Strategic Planning included, interdepartmental communication, decision making, accountability, role definition, skill development. So it turned out that Catherine and I weren't the only ones concerned about these issues. When the Structure group met we got to the bottom of why the productivity was so low. There was no reward for accountability in the department. There was only punishment for accountability. Punishment in the form of having to do all the work, or risk damaging a relationship with a CO-worker by suggesting they help do some of the work. Since there was no reward for being accountable to the work, the work was always less important than the relationship with CO-workers. This created a culture of accommodating and avoiding behaviors among the staff. We had had communication and conflict resolution training that discussed a model of conflict resolution. The models puts the relationship against the task on axis. The more important the relationship and less important the task, the more avoiding and accommodating behavior there will be. When the task is important, and the relationship is not, the behavior will be aggressive. When both the task and the relationship are important, the behavior will be compromise and collaboration. We wanted to change the culture of the department from avoidance and accommodation to compromise and collaboration. Staff also perceived that they didn't have enough time to do their jobs because they were constantly interrupted by others, adjusting their schedule to work the desk and that there was simply too much daily circulation work to do.

We started by examining how the work was structured. We determined the bare minimum number of hours needed to cover the merged service desk in our new addition. We changed the role of the staff while working the service desk from doers of the work to supervisors of the work. Our
students and our self-check machine could check out books, but they couldn't solve problems very well. We needed the staff to be available and ready to work with patrons to resolve problems.

Then we looked at work like processing recall requests, processing reserve requests, missing searches, etc. We moved this work off the public desk so that staff could have time away from the public to refresh themselves. This also took care of the staff complaint that they were unable to accomplish any work due to constant interruptions.

Next we calculated the number of hours needed to process reserves, and allocated staff time for this during peak times. We also decided we needed a full time staff member to manage the reserve services since reserves is a core service to our teaching faculty.

Then we calculated the number of hours needed for training and allocated 1 staff to work on documentation and training and 1/2 FTE to assist this staff member during peak times. Finally we looked at our technology needs, and agreed to allocate 1 FTE to support of our online system EUCLID (SIRSI), and 1 FTE to the development of electronic services like the WEB and electronic reserves.



2. How We Brought The Vision And Values Of The Department Into Our Daily Work Activities

My goal is to present you with concrete examples of how we brought the vision and values of the strategic planning process into the daily work of our department. We did this by changing:

  1. the language in our job descriptions
  2. how we scheduled staff
  3. the way we organized and communicated about our work
Frances spoke about how we identified the job descriptions as a focus for building structure and accountability into the department. I want to specifically highlight the job descriptions and how we infused our vision and values into the language of the job descriptions.
Our original job description focused on what we did (i.e. create borrowers, check out materials more than how we did it.

 Old Circulation/ Reserves Job Description

When rewriting the job description we focused on the qualifications needed to do the job instead of the tasks themselves realizing that we could teach people the work, but to be able to create a team based, customer focused department we needed people with excellent communication & conflict resolution skills, good judgment and the willingness to take initiative. I had overheard a staff member say you cannot pay me to be nice to people or smile. I wanted it to be clear from the very beginning that the behavior I needed from staff was that they delivered effective and pleasing customer service. Our new job description reads (copies are attached at end ) "Serves as the library's representative to the public by positively communicating and educating clients about library service and polices. Willingly provides customer service, creatively resolves patron problems". Stating our vision of "educating and serving" and our values in the job description supports me as a supervisor reinforcing them in my hiring, training and evaluations of staff. It also creates a clear picture about the culture we are creating together.

The qualifications of the new jobs also changed. In the old job description for the circulation desk supervisor a BA degree was "preferred". We knew that because of our constantly changing environment and the increasing technological complexity of our work that people in this job needed a BA degree. Supervisory experience was again only preferred in the old job description and this was reflected in the skill level of the staff at that time as the students they supervised were not fully utilized . Students considered a job at circulation or reserves as a chance to study and get paid for it. Staff would complain about all the reserves they needed to process not realizing the resource they had sitting at the desk studying. I needed the staff job and skill of supervising students to be acknowledge by the job description, evaluation, hiring and by the library administration. The new job description requires supervisory experience and these changes in the job's qualifications ultimately caused an upgrade in the jobs.

Changing the job descriptions of course changed the criteria for hiring and interviewing staff. From Oct. 96 through Nov. 97 we interviewed over 20 people to fill 5 vacant positions. The folks we hired matched our new criteria of having the skills to effectively communicate, resolve conflict, make good judgments, supervise students and take personal initiative.

Another way we addressed work flow, accountability, and the combining of circulation work with reserves was to create a daily schedule that clearly delineates who is doing what, when.

Before the redesign there were no clear designations of what staff did when during their 8 hours on the job. There was no accountability. A staff member who transferred from circulation to another department during this time told me she did because she was overwhelmed with the idea of negotiating even more tasks when we merged with reserves.

In our department now our schedule reflects when staff are on the desk, or processing reserves or working on the departments SOP "standard procedures manual". Time is also allotted for staff to focus on their email where previously staff complained that they never had time to get to it.

Staff also designated many previous circulation tasks that were done while working on the desk as "off desk work" in order insure more accuracy by moving the work away from the desk where staff were constantly interrupted. Staff designed a form to reinforce this new culture and to serve as a communication tool to designate who had completed the work in case there were questions about the work (i.e. accountability).

Another way our new vision and values effected our daily tasks was how we organized and communicated about our work. For example, previously the reserve dept. was a hot bed of complaints. Staff were frustrated because although faculty were notified months ahead about reserve deadline dates, many faculty brought their materials in at the last minute and needed it on reserve yesterday. Faculty were also frustrated because they often did not learn they were teaching a course until the last minute and they didn't understand why it took so long for items to be processed. They had brought the material in, why wasn't it on the shelf for students to check out. Staff decided to change the was that reserves were organized and processed and emphasize educating and negotiating with faculty to find a mutually satisfactory solution. We asked all faculty to prioritize their reserves by the date they were needed in their syllabus. We organized reserves by this system which was visible to all staff, students and faculty. Instead of telling faculty a flat yes or no when they gave us a deadline date of ASAP we educated them about how much time was involved to catalog a reserve and showed them the books that were waiting to be processed on the shelf. It was much easier for faculty to understand why we couldn't put their reserve material on immediately when we took the time to explain it to them and worked with them to satisfy their needs. Staff were also more skilled at negotiating solutions because of customized training delivered by human resources and reinforced constantly by Frances and I.

We also changed our claims return policy. Previously when a patron reported that they had returned a book staff felt like they were in the role of police and needed to interrogate the patron to find out if they were telling the truth. We decided we would just trust patrons and be true to our value of self-esteem which we had defined as having self respect for ourselves and others. We changed our notices to thank people when they reported a claims return and asked them to please check one more time and notified them what we too would search our shelves. Within the month we removed the book from the patrons record. We kept statistics of our return rate since some staff were worried that our policy would result in our books being ripped off and we found no significant rise in claim return books.



3. How We Identified And Allocated The Resources We Needed To Implement The Goals Of Our Strategic Plan
  1. Training
  2. Making time to plan
  3. Utilizing staff
  4. Restructuring the jobs
I was hired in February of 1996, the same month Frances began to conduct the strategic planning process. This was perfect timing as the process was invaluable for giving me an overview of circulation & reserves and it's history, future direction and needs.

During my second day of work I found my sound smack dab in the middle of mediating a conflict between staff that had been brewing for a long time about work that was not getting done. There were many of these kind of conflicts that were both internal and external (involving staff and faculty). Providing training for staff in communication and conflict resolutions was acknowledged as an immediate and fundamental departmental need. By my second month at Emory, I was meeting with a member of the training department of the University's Human Resources Department so that training on communication and conflict resolution could be customized for circulation and reserves. This communication training was delivered in August in four 2 hour sessions. In September, the department also contracted with independent contractor to do a 7 hour workshop on team building. This training was financed by the library and identified as a valuable and necessary use of staff time. This kind of training was essential to enable staff to work in teams and specifically addressed the frustration and inertia staff felt when trying to negotiate conflict with each other and the patrons we serve. Here staff, management and the administration allocated time, energy and money to address these issues. The initial planning for this training started at the same time as the strategic planning process. We identified training as an immediate need that could not wait to be part of the result or consequence of strategic planning. My advice to you all here is start training now!

Frances and I also allocated our time consistently and continually to implement the goals of the strategic plan. Even when the department lost 5 out of 10 staff members including 2 members of the structure committee, Francis and I continued to prioritize meeting every Friday for 3 hours.

It was during these Friday meetings that we used the information gathered from the structure committee and the strategic planning process to identify the new jobs, write the job descriptions, and figured out the percentage of time that needed to be seasonally allocated to the new & revised positions in the department. I will show you the results of the reorganization in a minute but I want to comment here that finding the time for this work was not easy. We were staffing 2 public service desks that were open for a total of 198 hours a week with less than 6 full time staff. We met on study tables in the department while I supervised the reserve desk. This meant that we were periodically interrupted by work I needed to deal with at the desk. We were committed to taking the time to do this work because we knew that any attempt at fixing our problems was just a Band-Aid solution and focused on the way the department was structured.

The other important allocation of resources was a staff member filling in temporarily as the Euclid Specialist. Euclid is Emory's on line catalog. We were aware that we were getting a new version of our on-line systems and I needed someone to learn, test, identify the kinks in V-8 and then train all staff. I gave up my desk and computer at circulation department so this staff member would have a place to do this work. I also took on this staff member's hours including a midnight shift managing the reserve desk. This was stressful. Although I continued to be responsible for 2 departments that were located in different buildings on campus, I no longer had a place to work or as much time to devote to circulation. This staff member was an independent learner and her good work not only had a positive influence on our department, but also other libraries on campus who shared our catalog and participated in the V-8 training. This made the library administration realize what a difference having a circulation person working specifically on EUCLID issues could make and made them very receptive to this part of our redesign. The Systems dept. was lso aware of how valuable it was to have a circulation staff member test and train folks in the module since usually this work fell on them. Systems didn't have the expertise with reserves to fully explore problems with the new program and Frances and I didn't have the time to devote to it.

The other important decision we made at this time was to begin cross training of all staff a year before we actually moved. This training began slowly with staff filling in for a few hours at the Reserve Dept. but all staff who were hired after June of 1996 were deliberately trained on both desks and split their time working in both departments At this same time we also began having one joint staff meeting that included both departments so that staff began to become familiar with each other's issues. This created friendships within what had been separate departments. The new version of our catalog was implemented in June, and by July of 1997 all staff had experience both processing reserves in the new module and experience working the circulation desk.

Lastly I want to highlight how we identified and allocated our resources by restructuring the job descriptions. We a took advantage of the merger of circulation and reserves which released hours that had been previously spent supervising two public service desks. We lost 40 hours to the music and media library who took over managing the audio/visual resource that used to be part of the reserve dept. and designated the remaining hours with the unmet needs identified during strategic planning process to show the administration how this time could best be utilized within our own department.

I calculated the hours needed to staff one public service desk , the hours needed to process reserves, and the hours needed to train new students at the beginning of each semester. From these calculations we came up with a new structure and focus for circulation jobs based on the seasonal nature of our work.

Your probably all familiar with the calendar and pace of academic institutions where the demands at the beginning of a term differ from when the term is in progress. We redesigned the jobs so that the focus changes when the season begins and when the season is in process. We also decided that time to communicate (email and a mandatory 2 hour weekly staff meeting are our main source of communication since staff work such different hours) and time for professional development (time to take classes and participate in library committees) were essential for each job. All 40 hour positions are allotted 7 hours a week for office communication. Every job while the term is in process is allotted 4 hours for professional development.

The revised jobs and delegated seasonal hours are as follows. Full job descriptions are enclosed at the end of this paper;

Circulation Desk Supervisor

This is the job that everyone did before the redesign without the BA and supervisory experience validated. When the term begins this job works 23 hours on the desk and 10 hours processing reserves. When the term is in progress this job works on the desk for 25 hours a week. Four hours are devoted to special projects.

Circulation Desk Supervisor- Trainer

We designated one circulation desk job as trainer to support the training and documentation specialist with all the training necessary at the beginning of term. This person works 23 hours when the term begins supporting the training of new students and 10 hours on the desk. While the term is in progress this person works the same percentage of hours as the Circulation Desk Supervisor.

Training and Documentation Specialist

We needed one person to hire, train and coordinate all the students we hire & train staff and document our ever changing polices. When the term begins this position spends 33 hours organizing and delivering student training. While the term is in progress 12 hours are spent on the desk & 17 hours on training and documentation

Reserves Coordinator

The department needed one person to delegate, develop and organize work flow for reserves. This position coordinates reserves 33 hours when the term begins and 29 hours when the term is in progress.

Electronic Projects Specialist

We needed someone who could develop and maintain an electronic reserves system and a web page for the circulation department. This position when the term begins processes reserves for 30 hours and works on electronic projects for 3 hours. Of course, when this position develops electronic reserves the 30 hours a week will be spent managing the electronic reserve system. While the term is in progress this position works on electronic projects for 29 hours.

Euclid Implementation Specialist

Euclid is our on-line catalog. We needed one person to manage it's reports and on going changes. When the term begins this person works 10 hours on the desk, 20 hours processing reserves and 3 hours managing Euclid. While the term is in progress 10 hours are spent on the desk and 19 hours on Euclid.

Circulation Manager

I work for 20 hours on the desk or processing reserves when the term begins. While the term is in progress I spend 10 hours on the desk.

Circulation, Department Head

When the term begins 10 hours are spent working the circulation desk or processing reserves.



4. Buy In
  1. Why it is important
  2. Who we got it from
  3. How we got it
1.    Why is it important You can't do it alone. You need Resources in the form of: To take the time to devote to planning you need approval by your boss. You don't have all the information you need for planning and implementation (Director of Public Services participated in Environmental scanning and shared info on the library and university we needed to know).

You need $$ to conduct strategic planning - training, outside facilitator, and money to implement the plan ( our price tag was $60,000/year to pay for the salary upgrades for staff).

2.    Who we got it from

a.    The top:I got approval from my boss (Director of Public Services ) and the Human Resources Officer to conduct Strategic Planning. I needed the time to do it, and there would be some work that we wouldn't do instead. In March of 1997, Catherine and I had a good idea that changes in job descriptions were going to mean upgrades in positions (we didn't know how much of an upgrade, and we didn't know how many positions ), I spoke to the Human Resources Officer (the Director of Public Services had left 11/1996). I brought her up to date on the planing process, and asked her for her support. She spoke to Vice Provost, Director of Libraries, and I got verbal commitment that if job level rose, there would be support. This was a critical step. Neither the Vice Provost or Human Resources Officer needed reminding later on.

When the price tag of $60,000/year was better known in August, the breaks were put on. Initially I was surprised by this, because I thought I had the go ahead in March. The Administration had to re-think, re-visit this plan - will they get their money's worth? Is this the right place to put the resources of the Library? Catherine's and my approach was to remind Admin. of all the work that wasn't getting done and about the complaints circulation received and to demonstrate how the redesign would solve these problems.

b.    The Staff: Staff were involved in Strategic Planning. Strategic Planning created the Structure group. The Structure group used the data from Strategic Planning to create the new design. Automatic buy in? Not on your life. For one thing more than half the staff had turned over. The new staff did not participate in Strategic Planning. For another, Strategic Planning is pretty fuzzy, out there, no direct impact. When you have a design- staff can see how their life will be effected.

We had to do a lot of reminding to staff of how they contributed to the redesign, we had to present again our vision of the future and the expectations on the job. How the environment had changed and will continue to change.

We probably didn't get total buy in until staff got their new pay - $2.00/hr for all, then for those that got the specialist positions, $4.00/hr. I think the buy in was reinforced when we hired 3 of the 4 specialist jobs with internal circulation staff.

c.    Key colleagues: When undergoing a redesign, it is important to remember that you are a part of a larger organization and the changes you do effect them. You need support from all members of the organization. You don't want a group blocking your changes. We needed "approval" from my team- Research and Information Services Council. Our approach to RISC wasn't can we do this? It was, we are doing this and how can you help us be successful? What advice can you give us to improve plan and to implement it? We got excellent feedback on how we were "pitching" plan, we heard questions that we knew we would hear again, so this gave us an opportunity to be prepared for these questions.

3.    How we got it? I talked a lot already about how we got it - the early involvement of key top administrators, reminders to staff of the role they played through strategic planning, and presentations to key groups. I'd like to emphasize the most important thing that we did - "Just do it", implement part of the design, demonstrate the outcomes of redesign, of the change, show how the change will make things better.

Two other important things we did:

a.    Catherine and I changed our behavior - we committed to the values and vision. We committed to the redesign. We started to act as if we were in the new design, we focused on the WORK. Previously our approach to work in teams was more focused on the relationship not on accomplishing work. We realized we were missing a key definition of a team - "a group of people focused on a common goal" and that goal was WORK.

We explicitly stated what behaviors we needed from staff now - Catherine did a presentation to staff detailing the new job description for the circulation desk supervisor and emphasizing the changes she expected. Some behaviors that we normally would have tolerated or let side, we didn't. If the behavior was counter to values and vision, we told the staff member why and that we needed them to change their behavior. To the top administration, Catherine and I changed our behavior from, "Here's what I need to you to do for me", to "Here's what I can do for you". We had always given administration excuses on why work wasn't getting done. Now we finally were able to say HOW we were going to get work accomplished.

This new attitude emboldened us - Catherine implemented the desk schedule despite very strong resistance to it. I forced myself to deal with a long term performance problem.

b.    Implementing the EUCLID position on a temporary basis. This staff member demonstrated to all of us what a staff person can accomplish given the chance. The training provided by the General Libraries to circulation staff at all libraries got the attention of ALL the library directors at ALL of the libraries. This was a real feather in our VP's cap. She had been trying to get greater cooperation among all libraries, and having one of her staff serve as the model was something she could use. We were meeting one of her goals in a direct way.



5. How to Manage Change

The redesign proposal represented major change in everything we do IF it was implemented fully, with complete commitment. Catherine and I were very aware of this and very concerned about it. We wanted full commitment. We've all experienced great ideas failing because staff didn't enact them, didn't make them their own. We couldn't afford to let this happen. We were in a crisis, we were exhausted. We couldn't continue as we had. Turnover was too fast. Resistance was too great.

Complaints too depressing. If this plan didn't work - I was done, over, out of there. The toll on Catherine was also unbearable, I couldn't take watching a talented, conscientious person being so frustrated and overworked.

I had had training on facilitating change. I read William Bridges book on Managing Transitions. I digested it and gave Catherine a copy to read. Meg Wheately presents similar ideas on change as Bridges does, Wheately uses a different metaphor.

Basis change information I used:

Change = event + feelings (the FEELING side of change is very important)

This was a key learning for me. It made it OK for me to talk about feelings at work. I had been taught that you weren't supposed to talk about feelings at work. Feelings were unprofessional. In the book there are checklists of actions to take. I worked through them, I stressed over what staff would loose; I prepared myself to listen, to be open, to empathize and acknowledge feelings. I worked on a list of what will stay the same, what will change. Catherine and I coached each other on honoring the past, rather than emphasizing how horrible it was. We also coached each other on "selling the problem, not the solution". Reminding ourselves of why we need to change. What's wrong with the current design. We developed our vision, our picture of the new organization. Most importantly, I think we coached each other on listening, without defensiveness, without offering explanation. We listened to empathize and to acknowledge feelings only. Bridges outlines many steps when managing change, and there are 2 that I'd like to emphasize here today:

  1. Acknowledge, empathize feelings, allow venting, accept overreaction (first reaction to the design)
  2. Give staff a part to play in the change:
1.    Acknowledge, empathize feelings, allow venting, accept overreaction (first reaction to the design) he first presentation of the design to staff was a flop. Much concern about the plan was also raised. Things that they had complained about like having to "wear too many hats", they were expressing fears about
loosing. We wondered whether we could continue with the reorganization as planned or did we need to start over? We decided that what we were
hearing was staff expressing their fears, identifying what they will loose.

Key learning - don't stop a change initiative because you hear resistance- listen to it, acknowledge it, but move on. Address what can be, but move on. It's their decision to come with or to leave.

2.    Give staff a part to play in the change. We formed 3 teams and asked everyone to volunteer for 1 of the teams.

Staff Support and Morale Team (affectionately known as the S&M team): Check in with all staff on how communication is flowing, how morale is fairing, report developing conflicts. This team also plans and executes activities that celebrate our successes, mark beginnings, and endings.

Transition Team: Planned our move into the new building, interim desk assignments, and identified and planned for differences in work flow. Developed ground
rules for use of space and conduct in the public areas., identified and organize training activities and programs. Questions the Transition Team worked on were how will the work get done now? How will we get to implementation?

Implementation Team: Developed a mechanism, in conjunction with Human Resources Officer, for staff to move into new job descriptions, developed long term space plan, desk assignments and schedules. Developed an interview process and orientation program for new and transitioning staff. Catherine joined the Implementation Team, I joined the Transition Team.

These 3 teams were a HUGE success:

S and M still active; developed "grips and grins" suggestion box, surfaced dress code rumor, got drink containers, flower and balloons for staff when moved, organized student party, survey of staff concerns.

Transition team: created food and drink policy, developed student training, temporary cube assignments, brought back the communication training sessions.

Implementation Team: architects of how we moved 10 staff sharing 1 job description to 4 specialists and 5 sharing 1 job description.



6. Wrap-Up

So what? What are the outcomes? Is service better than before? YES.  Staff are embodying our values and vision in their daily actions. Staff are following through on problems they encounter, resolving customer service problems independently, but within guidelines, they seek advice and then make their own decision. We have gone from "this is the policy" to "How can I help you? What can we work out?" From "I can't to I can". They see what needs to be done and offers to do it, and others offer to help.

We have a completed Standard Operating Procedures manual and a team working to keep it up to date. We have a comprehensive training plan for students and one person took on responsibility for insuring paper work was handled correctly with our Administrative Office. Each student has a mentor for follow up training and communication.

Reserves work flow planning is taking place. EUCLID problems are quickly identified, addressed, resolved and reported. Our new EUCLID person has developed a cooperative relationship with our Systems Department and worked to refine our email notices. The Euclid person is also busily learning Unicorn 98 (version 10).

Department clean, picked up, orderly.  NO complaints from customers regarding services.

We are getting UNSOLICITED compliments : "Very cooperative staff",

"Complete turnaround of a department

We still have a lot to do, for instance need to hire the electronic projects person to help us with our WEB page and electronic reserves.

In the ARL/OMS workshops I was introduced to the Organizational Universe model. I learned that you diagnose the organization in the climate (so measure trust, morale, stress, support etc.) and fix the problems in structure (communication, reporting relationships, norms, decision making, accountability, rewards).

Climate is effected by environment - our customers (both internal and external) were not happy with us. The University and Library were changing to integrate digital technology into the fabric of every day life.

In the Climate - we had low trust, low morale, high stress, no confrontation, lots of collusion, no risk taking, no optimism, no clarity - on sop.

Through Strategic Planning we identified goals and values, vision, mission.

Through Redesign and implementation we changed the entire structure: reporting relationships are different - 2 specialist report to Frances; the specialists report to each other and to the staff;

We have done a lot on communication- training on conflict resolution, training on email etiquette, agreement on HOW to use email for what type of messages; Circulation runs the best meetings - focused outcome oriented agendas, facilitated, meeting minutes in 2 days.

Job descriptions dealt with accountability

Norms - 5% of time for development activities, behavior when working in a common space. cooperation is a norm.

Decision making - very up front about what decisions are made by whom.

Rewards - the obvious - more pay, constant feedback, S&M team work, 50% Hard work 50% timing.

Our success was due in equal parts of extremely hard work and timing. When we started SP we didn't envision this outcome at all. We were very specific to NOT try to get the job levels raised- if that was a by product -great. If not we'd be OK too.

The new building- we piggy backed a lot of changes to coincide with our merger and move into the new building.

The ability to hire 3 of the 4 specialist internally - an unanticipated outcome. We were hoping to use attrition as the primary way to get the positions filled.

The outstanding work of the EUCLID support person - far exceeded our expectations.

Presence of the Library Design and CaTS redesign - we were not counter culture, we were speaking the same language.



Living the Future II Home Page | About the Conference | Call for Papers | Conference Contacts | Local Accommodations | Maps, Directions, Parking | Registration Information | Schedule | Proceedings

Go to the UA Library Home Page