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Abstract

Details

Information and Learning Science, vol. 119 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5348

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2000

Catherine Edwards and Graham Walton

It has been observed that “the libraries of colleges and universities are changing faster than their respective parent institutions. Essentially everything in and around…

Abstract

It has been observed that “the libraries of colleges and universities are changing faster than their respective parent institutions. Essentially everything in and around the library is changing: services, technologies, organizational constructs, ownership and access policies, values and most of the rest” (Riggs, 1997). Invariably this intensity of change will cause conflict on different scales and levels and have serious implications for Library and Information Services. Between 1996 and 1998 the eLib IMPEL2 (Impact on People of Electronic Libraries) project was able to monitor how this conflict was being manifested. Using literature from both the management and librarianship disciplines, the general concepts of conflict are discussed, focusing on causes of conflict, positive and negative impacts and different conflict handling techniques. There is an overview concerning how the theories and ideas on conflict drawn from the management discipline apply within an academic library context. After outlining the background to the IMPEL2 eLib project, examples of conflict found in academic libraries are illustrated using data collected. In February 1999 examples of conflict were reviewed at a study day for librarians who identified causes and possible conflict management strategies. These are also presented.

Details

Library Management, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2001

John Hewlett and Graham Walton

The paper examines the processes of evaluating the quality of two library and information services for health professionals in the UK: higher education (HE) health library…

Abstract

The paper examines the processes of evaluating the quality of two library and information services for health professionals in the UK: higher education (HE) health library and information services and those of the National Health Service (NHS). Both are principally serving the same user group – clinicians at various stages in their professional lives. Health professionals need access to services from libraries in both sectors for their initial pre‐qualification course. The concept of life‐long learning has strengthened the need for clinicians to be able to locate relevant information when and where they need it. This need for dual access is continued after becoming qualified when they undertake continuing professional development, complete research, deliver evidence‐based care and help patients with their information needs. Despite NHS and HE health libraries serving the same user group there are many differences between libraries in the two sectors. The level of difference is discussed, demonstrating that the quality processes are often diametrically opposed.

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Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

Graham Matthews and Graham Walton

The purpose of this paper is to explore issues, approaches and challenges in providing strategic direction to university libraries on developing their physical space in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore issues, approaches and challenges in providing strategic direction to university libraries on developing their physical space in what is increasingly a digital age. A key aspect of the work is to explore how university libraries and their senior staff can widen libraries’ role to inform the strategic direction of formal and informal learning spaces across the institution.

Design/methodology/approach

Research and perspectives from across the world provide the context for the study. A single site case study based at Loughborough University in the UK is explored to demonstrate how strategy for university library space is developed. The case study also provides an example of how a university library has extended its influence on other informal learning spaces.

Findings

University library physical space has an important role in learning, teaching and research, despite the increase in digital information provision. For effective strategy, information and evidence needs to be collected from a wide range of sources. The experience and skills that university libraries have developed in managing learning spaces can be transferred to learning spaces elsewhere in the university.

Research limitations/implications

This is a single site case study.

Practical implications

The case study provides approaches and ideas that can be applied by university libraries in the strategic development of learning spaces.

Originality/value

The paper provides an innovative and informed insight into how university libraries can influence learning and teaching spaces across university campus/site. Further research would be valuable to identify practice more widely. Surveying, from a library perspective, university and university estate, management strategies for content relating to libraries and formal and informal spaces across the institution and what is going on/being planned in this area would further progress the debate.

Details

New Library World, vol. 115 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Book part
Publication date: 15 December 2016

Ardis Hanson and John Abresch

Libraries can be seen as the collective identity of its employees engaged in providing a myriad of services to a community of patrons. Libraries can also exist in virtual…

Abstract

Purpose

Libraries can be seen as the collective identity of its employees engaged in providing a myriad of services to a community of patrons. Libraries can also exist in virtual settings, defined with descriptive parameters, described by a wider user group external to the library environment. The diverse nature of what constitutes libraries is illustrated by researchers, such as Marino and Lapintie (2015), who use the term “meta-meeting place” when describing its environs. Whatever model is used to describe contemporary libraries, the library environment usually has numerous needs and demands coming from a variety of stakeholders, from administrators to patrons. This chapter examines how we, as librarians, with users, co-construct library as both space and place.

Methodology/approach

We used a theoretical framework (social constructionism) to show how library identity is established by its users in the space planning process to address their needs and expectations and provided a case study of the main library at the University of South Florida.

Findings

We found that libraries are reflective of the vision and values of a diverse community and the social-political milieu in which they are housed. Librarians used a number of innovative methods and frames to create best/evidence-based practice approaches in space planning, re-envisioning library functions, and conducting outcomes/programmatic assessment. For librarians to create that sense of place and space for our users requires effective and open conversations and examination of our own inherent (and often unacknowledged) contradictions as to what libraries are or should be as enduring structures with evolving uses and changing users. For example, only a few of the studies focused on the spatial use and feel of libraries using new technologies or methodologies, such as social network analysis, discourse analysis, or GPS, to map the use of physical and virtual space.

Practical implications

First, new ways of working and engaging require reexamination of assessment and evaluation procedures and processes. To accomplish this, we must develop a more effective culture of assessment and to use innovative evaluation measures to determine use, user paths, and formal and informal groupings. Changes that affect patron and staff perceptions of library as place/third space may be difficult to assess using quantitative surveys, such as LibQual, that may not provide an opportunity for respondents to provide specifics of what “place” means to them. Second, it is important to have effective communication among all members of the library (patrons, library staff, and university administration) so that we design spaces/places that enhance the relationships among users, technology, pedagogy, and learning spaces, not just the latest “thing” in the literature.

Originality/value

This value of this review is to provide a social constructionist perspective (frame) on how we plan library space. This approach provides opportunities to truly engage our patrons and administration in the co-construction of what “our library” should be since it provides insight to group, place, and social dynamics.

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1995

Catherine Edwards, Joan M. Day and Graham Walton

The IMPEL Project is a research project run collaboratively by the Information Services Department and Department of Information and Library Management at the University…

Abstract

The IMPEL Project is a research project run collaboratively by the Information Services Department and Department of Information and Library Management at the University of Northumbria at Newcastle. It investigates the human aspects of increased electronic provision in UK academic libraries, focusing at this stage on the social and organizational impact on qualified librarians.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 47 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Book part
Publication date: 8 December 2016

Graham Walton and Paul Webb

This chapter explores the roles that library leaders have in ensuring libraries demonstrate innovation and creativity in their services, systems and facilities. This is…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter explores the roles that library leaders have in ensuring libraries demonstrate innovation and creativity in their services, systems and facilities. This is grounded in the pressures for innovation resulting from the ‘disruptive technologies’ identified by Christensen (1997). ‘Obliquity’ (Kay, 2011) is inter-related around how innovation can be used to meet the challenges. The areas proposed where library leadership can contribute to innovation are leading by example, shaping organisational culture/values, ensuring appropriate training/development takes place, helping develop appropriate organisational structures and establishing appropriate reward and recognition.

Methodology/approach

Both theoretical insight and practical experience are used to inform the chapter. Management and leadership theories/research provide the context within which library leadership and innovation is explored. This is complemented by the authors between them have experience in developing innovation in libraries and also in delivering leadership training on innovation.

Practical implications

For any library looking to demonstrate innovation and creativity, the chapter identifies some clear responsibilities for leaders. The five specific roles for the leader are crucial in libraries being innovative. A further element of the work is that it explores some of the challenges a library leader will face in moving in this direction.

Originality/value

Having joint authorship by people from different backgrounds ensures that the chapter is based on a blended insight of theoretical understanding and practical experience.

Details

Innovation in Libraries and Information Services
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-730-1

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2016

Katie Burn, Matthew Cunningham, Liz Waller, Emma Walton and Graham Walton

In higher education libraries, the concept of the user experience has increased in profile and importance. The concept of the “student as customer” has generated much…

Abstract

Purpose

In higher education libraries, the concept of the user experience has increased in profile and importance. The concept of the “student as customer” has generated much debate but there is general agreement that universities need to be more successful in meeting student expectations. A key strategic area for university libraries has been to adapt and improve their physical spaces to ensure that they are still relevant for today’s students. York and Loughborough University Libraries have both undergone building refurbishments and both are committed to monitoring and reviewing services and spaces. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

There were various constraints which very much influenced the methodology. These included: avoiding survey overload no resource allocation an acknowledgement that the methodology employed needed to combine rigour and validity with a pragmatic approach to data collection. A joint project team was established of representatives from each university. A questionnaire created on Google Forms was administered by staff with individuals in the library and entering the data onto a iPad.

Findings

Findings provide evidence of use across a range of users along with valuable information on who is using our library spaces and for what purpose.

Originality/value

This research is a rich contribution to the evidence based around student’s learning in universities. It benefits from the expertise and knowledge of two university libraries. As university’s continue to develop learning spaces, this work will enable further investigation around what makes a successful learning space and what makes the library a destination of choice.

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 24 July 2014

Anne Goulding and J. Graham Walton

The concept of distributed leadership within library services is explored in this chapter. It focuses on how this model of leadership, which devolves leadership functions…

Abstract

The concept of distributed leadership within library services is explored in this chapter. It focuses on how this model of leadership, which devolves leadership functions and practice widely throughout organizations, can lead to intra- and interorganizational collaboration as a catalyst for library service development and innovation. The chapter discusses the distributed leadership approach by presenting selected results of a study of team leaders in public and university library services in the East Midlands region of the United Kingdom. The study employed an online questionnaire and individual interviews with library team leaders to identify the level and nature of collaboration taking place in library services and also to ascertain the skills needed for successful partnership work. The interviews focused primarily on how and why collaborations occurred and it emerged that the team leaders had considerable autonomy to establish and participate in partnerships, fitting well within the distributed leadership paradigm. The chapter adds to, and augments the limited literature on distributed models of leadership in libraries by exploring how this approach works in practice. It also proposes and evidences a link between distributed leadership, collaborative working, and innovation. The authors suggest that distributed leadership can help library services innovate and lead service development by freeing up the creativity of employees through a less formal, hierarchical leadership approach. The chapter ends with propositions for a research agenda to establish the best conditions and most appropriate format of distributed leadership in library services.

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Article
Publication date: 27 February 2007

Graham Walton

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the concept of flexibility as it applies to libraries.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the concept of flexibility as it applies to libraries.

Design/methodology/approach

Specific cases are from the literature introduced where libraries have introduced aspects of flexibility. Lessons that can be learned from other sectors regarding flexibility are also presented.

Findings

There are three central themes for libraries to address when considering the various theories and research around flexibility: importance of management, human resources issues and the need to know the user. Flexibility has to be managed proactively as a concept in libraries.

Originality/value

The paper provides food for thought for library practitioners in the use of flexibility in an increasingly uncertain world.

Details

Library Management, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

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