Mergers and Alliances: The Operational View and Cases: Volume 37

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Table of contents

(19 chapters)
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Contributors

Pages xi-xii
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Preface

Pages xiii-xviii
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Abstract

This chapter discusses Launching through the Surf: The Dory Fleet of Pacific City, a project which documents the historical and contemporary role of dory fishers in the life of the coastal village of Pacific City, Oregon, U.S. Linfield College’s Department of Theatre and Communication Arts, its Jereld R. Nicholson Library, the Pacific City Arts Association, the Pacific City Dorymen’s Association, and the Linfield Center for the Northwest joined forces to engage in a collaborative college and community venture to preserve this important facet of Oregon’s history. Using ethnography as a theoretical grounding and oral history as a method, the project utilized artifacts from the dory fleet to augment interview data, and faculty/student teams created a searchable digital archive available via open access. The chapter draws on the authors’ experiences to identify a philosophy of strategic collaboration. Topics include project development and management, assessment, and the role of serendipity. In an era of value-added services where libraries need to continue to prove their worth, partnering with internal and external entities to create content is one way for academic libraries to remain relevant to agencies that do not have direct connections to higher education. This project not only developed a positive “town and gown” relationship with a regional community, it also benefited partner organizations as they sought to fulfill their missions. The project also serves as a potential model for intra- and inter-agency collaboration for all types of libraries.

Abstract

The implications of a qualitative research study into community engagement (CE) and public libraries are presented in this chapter. It involved three case studies in England. The research methods employed included 34 semi-structured interviews, 12 direct observations, and document analysis. The viewpoints of both service providers and service users were captured. All data were analyzed using thematic analysis, in an inductive fashion. After summarizing the literature, six practical aspects of CE in relation to library practice were identified which were: public libraries as a community space; partnerships; community involvement in the library service; involvement of volunteers; working around books or information; and engaging in public dialogue and deliberation. The study, based on empirical data, concludes that while the public library as a community space was recognized as a key aspect to foster CE, it is a passive form of CE. A stronger level of partnership and community involvement is required for the promotion of genuine CE, wherein the community-driven approach and the organic nature of the CE process are paramount to engagement. It was observed that little systematic research has been done to examine the CE process in practice in public libraries. Nor have the practical implications of CE for public libraries been addressed. This study provides practical implications of CE for public libraries, as a first step toward systematic research in this area.

Abstract

A case study is presented in this chapter about a successful cross-campus collaboration between the School of Art and the Department of Classics at the University of Georgia (UGA) in the United States to build one image database with grant funding for a period of two academic years. Although the Humanities Digital Media Archive project was not free from complications, the outcome of the project suggests that these types of collaborative projects are valuable to librarians and to the university at large. An overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the project are described and can provide guidance to readers undertaking these types of collaborative projects. A discussion about funding opportunities in an era of reduced resources may encourage the reader to think in new and creative ways to solve the issue of lack of funding for such major projects. While many librarians and units on campus discuss potential collaborative projects, this case study provides a description of the issues and complications surrounding such projects as well as creative new ways of maximizing available resources and completing a successful and well-received project.

Abstract

Library-related and resource access issues confronting students enrolled in an interinstitutional joint master’s degree program in public health are addressed in this chapter. It details a cross-institutional collaborative effort to identify and provide research resources to interinstitutional joint degree students and faculty and analyzes the program through the lens of literature on collaboration in higher education and in library instruction. Reports on findings from qualitative feedback and quantitative card sort analysis data were gathered to inform development of content for, and organization of, a library research guide. Bureaucratic structures and policies often affect library services to students and faculty in interinstitutional joint degree programs. Therefore, more salient information about library policies, services, and resources was needed in order for the affected libraries to coordinate instruction, collections, and services to best support such programs. One of the limitations of the case study was that limited qualitative and quantitative feedback was received. Also there was no prior formal needs assessment. Nevertheless, the chapter provides insight to challenges facing libraries and librarians supporting interinstitutional joint degree programs. It also points to administrative opportunities to create rich library collaborations. Existing literature does not adequately address obstacles of in-person interinstitutional joint degree programs. The contribution of this chapter is that it identifies the complications of access, library policies, and administrative procedure that will need to be address by two or more libraries that want to support joint degree programs at the college or university level.

Abstract

In the past decade, library literature has witnessed a spate of studies documenting different aspects of Collaborative Virtual Reference Services (CVRS) and a significant amount of valuable information is spread across numerous individual reports. With the support of the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the authors of this chapter undertook a synergistic effort to examine these studies and identify the popular governance models as well as shared challenges and benefits. They conducted a supplementary survey of librarians with personal experience working in CVRS. The authors found that while collaborative structures are myriad, many utilize similar staffing and management strategies. Benefits of CVRS include shared staffing responsibilities, the extension of service hours, professional and community development, access to specialists, and mitigating the risks of a new service, while challenges include answering local questions, cultural differences, and software and technology problems. The literature on CVRS primarily focuses on single collaborations. While these in-depth examinations are valuable, they cannot provide a “big picture” of how libraries may work together to provide a service. As budgets shrink and ICT-facilitated connections grow, collaboration is an option to which many libraries are turning to for the provision of reference as well as other services. The quality of such collaborations may be improved by considering the lessons presented in this chapter, resulting in better service.

Abstract

As academic libraries face growing challenges from the declining economy, deteriorating administrative support, increasing patron demands and fiscal accountability, as well as the expanding competition from both technology and retail industries, there is an opportunity to be more responsive to academic library customers and more strategic in the services provided to them. A boutique service model, generally, employed in high-end retail industries, may be adapted for academic libraries to provide a proactive, specialized approach to serving faculty and students. In the context of libraries, this model is focused on service that is personalized, user-driven, and technology-enhanced. It can be employed with the efforts of subject librarians and library personnel with minimal additional cost and would have a profound impact on the customer service experience. This chapter describes how the Policy Sciences & Economics Library at Texas A&M University (TAMU) has successfully implemented a boutique services model. It discusses the emphasis on a customer-intimacy strategy, focusing on relationship building of the Library and liaison librarians with its customers, the faculty, and students of the Departments of Political Science and Economics and the Bush School of Government and Public Service. A number of collaborative projects and services have been borne out of this effort and the result has been a measure of embeddedness that permeates the curriculum and research activities of those serves and increases the effectiveness and impact of the services provided by the library. The various efforts and innovations are easily transferable and scalable to other types of libraries.

Abstract

Utilizing creative campus partnerships, alliances, and mergers, libraries can move from a traditional support role to a more participatory role that actively engages a university’s academic mission. Libraries, as centralizing, politically neutral hubs for information, can serve as catalysts for collaborative planning that paves the way for creating innovative campus spaces and services in conjunction with other academic or general campus units. By forging alliances and merging services and resources with campus partners, such as Information Technology (IT) and the English and Communication departments, the library can address student need and initiate transformational changes—changes that are broader in scope than those within traditional library functions. The case study in this chapter provides an exploration of the merging of library services with a writing center, an effort which was enhanced by adding an oral communication support service. It provides examples of what can be accomplished through visionary leadership and teamwork in 21st-century academic libraries, focusing on how student need and library use prompted institutional change at a mid-sized regional comprehensive university. The authors highlight the essential structural and operational mergers and alliances involved in integrating existing and developing library and campus initiatives to create a unique integrated service point for research, writing, and oral communication in the heart of the university’s main library. The case study also identifies continued partnership and collaboration, and briefly outlines methods through which libraries might initiate similar transformational changes and mergers at their own institutions, serving as a model for similar alliances in other settings.

Abstract

The case study in this chapter describes the planning and implementation of a single service desk or “one desk” model, merging the circulation and reference desks at a large academic library. The transition to a single service desk model was proposed as a way to utilize library staff more efficiently and effectively. The project included a literature review, interviews with libraries that had recently moved to a one-desk model, and a recommendation that included a method as well as timeline for implementation. As a result of the recommendation, three committees were formed to lead the transition, each with representation from both the circulation and reference departments. One committee oversaw the physical implementation and assessment, while the second committee created training program for all staff teaching core competencies for both reference and circulation. The third committee recruited student peer research leaders as part of a pilot program for student assistants. Through the implementation process, the chairs of the three committees concluded that implementing a single service desk involved much more than just moving furniture and relocating equipment. Combining two departments with distinct organizational cultures was the key to making the transition successful. The details of the implementation can be used as a model for other libraries of any type contemplating a similar transition.

Abstract

This is a case study on the implementation of shared services across back-office functions between the National Library of Scotland and the National Galleries of Scotland in the period 2008 to early 2013. It describes the potential benefits of a Library doing business in a less conventional way, at a time when the public sector is facing challenges of high customer expectations and tight budgets. From 2004 the concept of building shared services in the cultural sector was promoted by the Scottish Government as a means of achieving improved performance and more cost-effective service delivery. The initial four attempts to create shared services in the cultural sector failed. This study looks at the first attempt that succeeded and draws out the factors contributing to that success. Key precursors to progress included finding common ground and developing trust between parties who were initially suspicious of each other, establishing an effective governance framework, obtaining ongoing commitment from senior management, and aligning everyone’s agendas to make them compatible. By 2013 the program had delivered a common Information Systems network, as well as two parallel finance systems sitting on the same server. In March 2013 the HR teams entered a phase of living together for six months to test their integrated operations prior to formally becoming a shared service, treating both the Galleries and the Library as a single client. Building a shared service with another cultural partner has been a useful, though demanding experience. Both organizations are better off for committing to sharing.

Abstract

Merging two distinct academic libraries into one presents unique problems and challenges. In 2010 the Utah System of Higher Education officially mandated that the College of Eastern Utah merge with Utah State University in order to reduce costs and promote efficiencies within the College of Eastern Utah, an institution hit particularly hard during the recent economic decline. Although the College of Eastern Utah was clearly becoming part of Utah State University, one of the charges was to maintain its core mission and unique identity. It was important that the College of Eastern Utah Library be seen as a separate entity, yet have full access to the resources of the Utah State University Library. Librarians at the respective institutions were charged with extending access to as many library resources as possible, streamlining workflow, eliminating redundancies, and uniting collaboratively as one working library. This chapter describes how they proceeded to fulfill this charge. Described are the practical aspects, such as migrating the College of Eastern Utah Library catalog to the same integrated library system and server as Utah State University’s, as well as the steps taken to negotiate with vendors to provide access to electronic resources to all patrons. Changing technical services processes, organizing reference services and collection development, working with information technology staff at the different campuses, and budget management are also discussed. Two years later the two successfully moved forward as one academic library with separate institutional identities. Experience indicates that success was accomplished through collaboration, planning, and effective communication.

Abstract

Different operational models of joint libraries of universities and polytechnics are examined in this chapter. These joint academic libraries were founded in Finland during the 2000s. Although universities and polytechnics have different objectives, educational programs, and educational degrees, they are nevertheless expected to cooperate. Library services have become a well-functioning model of cooperation in four provincial centers. Joint libraries serve their parent organizations, but are also open to the public and in this way they support the availability of scientific and vocational information in their regional areas. The emphases of this case study are the administrative solutions and matters concerning personnel. In addition to this, electronic resources are dealt with. Since the electronic licenses are institution specific, they complicate the joint library services. Because the operational environments of the libraries differ, the models will not be placed in any order of supremacy. Regardless of the challenges that the joint libraries face, they still show how relatively small educational organizations can develop the library services within their own community through cooperation.

Abstract

This chapter explores the feasibility of establishing a consortium for the sharing of electronic resources between two libraries: the University of the West Indies at Mona and the University of Technology, Jamaica, both of which are located in Kingston. After a description of the institutional and library contexts, the two libraries are compared in terms of missions, staffing, funding, and collections and other differences and similarities including the e-resources. To analyze the feasibility of establishing a partnership/consortium, the exploration and evaluation of formation of a consortium were done using three kinds of analysis: a literature review, interviews, and a review of existing processes and documentation. The data gathering methods and results are described followed by a potential blueprint for implementation. The researchers did not interview or solicit the views of the university administrators and governing bodies or government officials as to the feasibility of such cooperation in light of the tentative nature of the investigation. The authors however worked with the premise that with the proper infrastructure, a consortium between the two universities would be viable. Other institutions considering development or formation of potential consortia might find the approach and methods in this chapter useful as a possible methodology.

Index

Pages 269-287
Content available
DOI
10.1108/S0065-2830(2013)37
Publication date
2014-08-11
Book series
Advances in Librarianship
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
Book series ISSN
0065-2830