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Frank Titskey
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Challenges and Opportunities of Change Management in Electronic Libraries: A Case Study Approach



The Management of Change in Electronic Libraries




Electronic libraries are becoming more prevalent and influential in the information society. They offer new possibilities for accessing, storing, sharing, and creating knowledge. However, they also face many challenges and uncertainties in a rapidly changing environment. How can electronic libraries adapt to the changing needs and expectations of their users, stakeholders, and society? How can they leverage the opportunities and overcome the barriers of technological innovation, organizational transformation, and cultural diversity? How can they ensure their sustainability and relevance in the digital age?




The Management Of Change In Electronic Libraries borgia mascaras huan



This article aims to answer these questions by exploring the concept and practice of change management in electronic libraries. It will define what electronic libraries are and why they need to change. It will also discuss the main challenges and opportunities of change management in electronic libraries. Then, it will present a framework for managing change in electronic libraries, based on some key principles and steps. Finally, it will provide some examples of successful change management initiatives in electronic libraries around the world.


Introduction




What are electronic libraries?




Electronic libraries are collections of digital information resources that are accessible online through various devices and platforms. They can include e-books, e-journals, databases, multimedia files, web pages, social media posts, blogs, podcasts, wikis, and more. They can also provide various services and tools for searching, retrieving, analyzing, creating, and sharing information.


Electronic libraries can be classified into different types according to their scope, purpose, ownership, governance, funding, audience, content, format, functionality, and quality. Some examples of electronic libraries are:



  • Academic electronic libraries: These are electronic libraries that support the teaching, learning, and research activities of academic institutions such as universities and colleges. They usually provide access to scholarly publications, databases, repositories, learning management systems, e-learning modules, etc.



  • Public electronic libraries: These are electronic libraries that serve the general public or specific communities. They usually provide access to popular publications, multimedia files, web pages, social media posts, etc. They may also offer various programs and services such as literacy training, cultural events, civic engagement, etc.



  • Special electronic libraries: These are electronic libraries that focus on a specific subject area or domain. They usually provide access to specialized publications, databases, archives, datasets, etc. They may also offer various tools and services such as data analysis, visualization, annotation, citation, etc.



  • National electronic libraries: These are electronic libraries that represent the cultural heritage and national identity of a country or region. They usually provide access to historical documents, artifacts, maps, photographs, etc. They may also offer various functions and services such as preservation, digitization, metadata, cataloging, etc.



Why do electronic libraries need to change?




Electronic libraries need to change because they operate in a dynamic and complex environment that is constantly evolving due to various factors such as:



  • Technological innovation: The development and adoption of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, blockchain, internet of things, etc. create new possibilities and challenges for electronic libraries in terms of information creation, access, storage, processing, and dissemination.



  • Organizational transformation: The changes in the organizational structure, culture, strategy, and processes of electronic libraries and their parent institutions affect their vision, mission, goals, values, policies, and practices.



  • Cultural diversity: The diversity of the users, stakeholders, and society of electronic libraries in terms of their backgrounds, preferences, needs, expectations, and behaviors influence their demand and satisfaction for information products and services.



These factors create various opportunities and threats for electronic libraries that require them to adapt and innovate. Some examples of these opportunities and threats are:



  • Opportunities: Electronic libraries can enhance their efficiency, effectiveness, quality, and impact by leveraging the potential of new technologies, collaborating with other organizations, and engaging with diverse users and stakeholders.



  • Threats: Electronic libraries can face competition, obsolescence, irrelevance, and loss of trust by failing to keep up with the changes in technology, organization, and culture.



What are the challenges and opportunities of change management in electronic libraries?




Change management is the process of planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating the changes that affect an organization and its environment. It involves identifying the need for change, analyzing the current situation and the desired future state, developing a vision and a strategy for change, communicating and engaging with stakeholders, implementing and evaluating the change initiatives, and sustaining and institutionalizing the change.


Change management in electronic libraries is challenging because it involves dealing with multiple dimensions of change such as:



  • Technical change: This refers to the change in the hardware, software, networks, and systems that support the information products and services of electronic libraries.



  • Structural change: This refers to the change in the organizational design, roles, responsibilities, and relationships of electronic libraries and their parent institutions.



  • Cultural change: This refers to the change in the values, beliefs, norms, and behaviors of electronic libraries and their users, stakeholders, and society.



These dimensions of change are interrelated and interdependent. They affect each other and create feedback loops that can amplify or dampen the effects of change. For example:



  • A technical change can trigger a structural change by requiring a new organizational arrangement or a new skill set.



  • A structural change can trigger a cultural change by influencing the attitudes and perceptions of the people involved.



  • A cultural change can trigger a technical change by demanding a new functionality or a new interface.



Change management in electronic libraries is also challenging because it involves dealing with multiple levels of change such as:



  • Individual change: This refers to the change in the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors of the people who work in or use electronic libraries.



  • Group change: This refers to the change in the communication, coordination, cooperation, and conflict among the people who work in or use electronic libraries.



  • Organizational change: This refers to the change in the vision, mission, goals, values, policies, and practices of electronic libraries and their parent institutions.



  • Societal change: This refers to the change in the norms, expectations, demands, and satisfaction of the users, stakeholders, and society of electronic libraries.



These levels of change are nested and interconnected. They influence each other and create synergies or trade-offs that can enhance or hinder the outcomes of change. For example:



  • An individual change can affect a group change by improving or worsening the performance or morale of a team or a department.



  • A group change can affect an organizational change by supporting or resisting a strategic initiative or a policy reform.



  • An organizational change can affect a societal change by increasing or decreasing the value or impact of an information product or service.



Change management in electronic libraries is also challenging because it involves dealing with multiple types of change such as:



  • Planned change: This refers to the change that is intentional and proactive. It is initiated by electronic libraries or their parent institutions to achieve a specific goal or to solve a specific problem.



  • Unplanned change: This refers to the change that is unintentional and reactive. It is imposed on electronic libraries or their parent institutions by external forces or by internal crises.



How to manage change in electronic libraries




Assessing the current situation and the desired future state




The first step in managing change in electronic libraries is to assess the current situation and the desired future state. This involves collecting and analyzing data and information about the internal and external environment of electronic libraries, such as:



  • The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) of electronic libraries.



  • The needs, expectations, and satisfaction of the users and stakeholders of electronic libraries.



  • The trends, developments, and best practices in technology, organization, and culture that affect electronic libraries.



  • The gaps, issues, and problems that electronic libraries face or may face in the future.



  • The vision, mission, goals, values, policies, and practices of electronic libraries and their parent institutions.



The assessment can be done using various methods and tools such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, observation, benchmarking, gap analysis, etc. The assessment can help electronic libraries to identify the need for change, the scope of change, the drivers of change, the barriers to change, and the readiness for change.


Developing a vision and a strategy for change




The second step in managing change in electronic libraries is to develop a vision and a strategy for change. This involves creating and communicating a clear and compelling picture of what electronic libraries want to achieve and how they will achieve it. The vision and strategy should be aligned with the vision, mission, goals, values, policies, and practices of electronic libraries and their parent institutions. They should also be based on the assessment of the current situation and the desired future state.


The vision and strategy should include:



  • The purpose and objectives of the change.



  • The scope and scale of the change.



  • The benefits and risks of the change.



  • The stakeholders and roles involved in the change.



  • The resources and budget required for the change.



  • The timeline and milestones for the change.



  • The indicators and measures for evaluating the change.



The vision and strategy can be developed using various methods and tools such as brainstorming, visioning, scenario planning, logic models, SWOT analysis, etc. The vision and strategy can help electronic libraries to guide and coordinate the change initiatives and to communicate and engage with stakeholders.


Communicating and engaging with stakeholders




The third step in managing change in electronic libraries is to communicate and engage with stakeholders. This involves informing and involving the people who are affected by or can affect the change. The stakeholders can include:



  • The staff, users, and partners of electronic libraries.



  • The management, governance, and funding bodies of electronic libraries and their parent institutions.



  • The suppliers, vendors, and service providers of electronic libraries.



  • The peers, competitors, and collaborators of electronic libraries.



  • The regulators, policymakers, and influencers of electronic libraries.



Communicating and engaging with stakeholders can help electronic libraries to:



  • Raise awareness and understanding of the need for change and the vision and strategy for change.



  • Build trust and commitment to support and participate in the change initiatives.



  • Gather feedback and input to improve and refine the change initiatives.



  • Resolve conflicts and issues that may arise during the change process.



Communicating and engaging with stakeholders can be done using various methods and tools such as newsletters, websites, social media, presentations, workshops, consultations, etc. Communicating and engaging with stakeholders should be done throughout the change process, not just at the beginning or at the end.


Implementing and evaluating the change initiatives




The fourth step in managing change in electronic libraries is to implement and evaluate the change initiatives. This involves executing and monitoring the actions that are planned to achieve the vision and strategy for change. The implementation and evaluation should be aligned with the resources, budget, timeline, and milestones that are defined in the vision and strategy for change. They should also be based on the indicators and measures that are established to evaluate the change.


The implementation and evaluation should include:



  • Assigning and managing the tasks, responsibilities, and resources for the change initiatives.



  • Training and supporting the staff, users, and partners who are involved in or affected by the change initiatives.



  • Testing and piloting the new technologies, structures, and cultures that are introduced by the change initiatives.



  • Collecting and analyzing the data and information that are relevant to the change initiatives.



  • Reporting and reviewing the progress and outcomes of the change initiatives.



  • Identifying and addressing the challenges and risks that may occur during the change process.



  • Celebrating and rewarding the achievements and successes of the change initiatives.



The implementation and evaluation can be done using various methods and tools such as project management, change management, quality management, risk management, performance management, etc. The implementation and evaluation can help electronic libraries to ensure and demonstrate the efficiency, effectiveness, quality, and impact of the change initiatives.


Sustaining and institutionalizing the change




The fifth step in managing change in electronic libraries is to sustain and institutionalize the change. This involves maintaining and embedding the changes that are achieved by the change initiatives. The sustainability and institutionalization should be aligned with the vision, mission, goals, values, policies, and practices of electronic libraries and their parent institutions. They should also be based on the feedback and input that are gathered from the stakeholders.


The sustainability and institutionalization should include:



  • Updating and revising the vision, mission, goals, values, policies, and practices of electronic libraries and their parent institutions to reflect the changes.



  • Integrating and aligning the new technologies, structures, and cultures with the existing ones.



  • Ensuring and enhancing the usability, accessibility, reliability, security, and interoperability of the new technologies.



  • Developing and promoting a culture of learning, innovation, collaboration, and diversity among the staff, users, and partners of electronic libraries.



  • Continuing and expanding the communication, engagement, and evaluation with stakeholders.



  • Seeking and seizing new opportunities and challenges for further improvement and development.



The sustainability and institutionalization can be done using various methods and tools such as policy analysis, organizational development, knowledge management, etc. The sustainability and institutionalization can help electronic libraries to ensure their long-term viability, relevance, and value in the information society.


Examples of change management in electronic libraries




The case of University College London Library Services




University College London (UCL) Library Services is one of the leading academic electronic libraries in the UK. It supports the teaching, learning, and research activities of UCL, which is a multidisciplinary university with a global reputation for excellence. UCL Library Services has 18 libraries across London, covering a wide range of subject areas. It also has an extensive collection of digital resources, including e-books, e-journals, databases, repositories, etc. It also provides various services and tools for searching, retrieving, analyzing, creating, and sharing information.


UCL Library Services has been undergoing a process of fundamental change since 2015, when it launched its Library Strategy 2015-18. The strategy was developed in response to the changing needs and expectations of its users, stakeholders, and society. It was also aligned with UCL 2034, a strategy for UCL for the next 20 years. The strategy aimed to deliver a first-class user experience across the whole UCL family of libraries. It had six key performance areas: user experience; staff; finance; systems; collections; estate; communication; outreach; open access; research data management; bibliometrics; copyright. The strategy had a number of key actions for each performance area, such as:



  • Developing a new library website and a new library management system.



  • Implementing a new staff development framework and a new staff recognition scheme.



  • Introducing a new budget model and a new financial reporting system.



  • Enhancing the discovery, access, preservation, and curation of digital resources.



  • Improving the physical spaces and facilities of libraries.



  • Promoting open science and open scholarship practices among researchers.



The case of National Library of Korea




The National Library of Korea (NLK) is the national library of South Korea. It collects, preserves, and provides access to the cultural heritage and national identity of Korea. It has a collection of over 11 million items, including books, journals, newspapers, manuscripts, maps, photographs, etc. It also has a digital library that offers various online resources and services.


The NLK has been undergoing a process of continuous change since its establishment in 1945. It has faced various challenges and opportunities in its history, such as the Korean War, the democratization movement, the economic development, the globalization, the informatization, etc. It has also responded to the changing needs and expectations of its users, stakeholders, and society. It has developed and implemented various strategies and initiatives for change management, such as:



  • Expanding and relocating its physical facilities and spaces to accommodate its growing collection and users.



  • Developing and upgrading its information systems and networks to enhance its efficiency and effectiveness.



  • Diversifying and digitizing its collection and services to increase its accessibility and usability.



  • Collaborating and cooperating with other libraries and organizations to share its resources and expertise.



  • Promoting and supporting open access and open science practices among researchers.



One of the recent examples of change management in the NLK is its Library Strategy 2019-22. The strategy was developed in response to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the social changes that affe


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