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Transforming a university library into a learning organisation

Clare Thorpe (Library Services, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia)

Library Management

ISSN: 0143-5124

Article publication date: 3 May 2021

Issue publication date: 22 July 2021




The purpose of this study is to discuss the strategies to promote a culture of professional learning within an Australian academic library. As the COVID-19 experience has shown new and evolving roles require skills, knowledge and abilities that current library employees may not have trained for. One framework which supports continuous professional development and employee motivation is the concept of a learning organisation, where staff across all levels of the library acknowledge the value of continuous learning and autonomously engage in activities to keep their skills up to date and relevant.


The article is a case study of a three-year period of interventions and outcomes in an Australian academic library.


The strategies discussed provide insights for library managers and leaders about how organisational change can be incrementally embedded through clarity of purpose, aligned leadership, transparent processes, self-determination and social learning.

Research limitations/implications

The case study examines a single institution.


The paper provides practical strategies and examples from the case study of one university library which has successful embedded workplace learning as a regular and accepted part of staff routines.



Thorpe, C. (2021), "Transforming a university library into a learning organisation", Library Management, Vol. 42 No. 6/7, pp. 436-447.



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