The Library has embarked on a comprehensive organizational renewal to ensure that its structure is well-positioned for the future. The goal of the renewal project is to identify and implement an organizational structure that will allow the Library to strengthen its capabilities, to maximize its capacity to meet its strategic goals, to improve the effectiveness of its day to day operations, and to be agile and able to respond to change.
The Organizational Renewal (OR) project is being carried out in five phases: (1) Recommendation; (2) Consultation; (3) Planning; (4) Transition; and (5) Evaluation. The project has been underway since 2016 and we began Phase 4, transition to the new organizational model, in January 2018. The final phase of the project, the evaluation of the effectiveness of the structure, is anticipated to start in 2019 under the direction of the new University Librarian and Vice-Provost.
The Library’s organizational model is changing from being centred on physical locations (Morisset, Brian Dickson Law Library, and Health Sciences Library) to function-based. The new functional model groups Library staff within 6 divisions: Research Services, Learning and User Services, Innovation and Digital Scholarship, Content and Access, Strategy and Planning, and Library Administration. The organizational chart highlights the divisions and departments of the new functional organizational model.
Summary of New Divisions
Research Services’ purpose is to advance the research mission of the University by providing relevant and timely services to support users. Staff in this division work cooperatively with users seeking assistance to undertake complex, multipart research activities. The Associate University Librarian of the Research Services division provides direction, ensuring that the activities of the division contribute to the University’s overall research enterprise and priorities.
The new structure creates interdisciplinary research teams based on broad disciplinary groupings. Research is an increasingly multi-disciplinary endeavour, as researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds contribute their expertise, research materials, and perspectives to collaboratively examine research problems in new ways. This division will be better placed to respond if they are able to draw on the experience and expertise of colleagues in complementary subject areas within their own multi-disciplinary teams.
Learning and User Services
Learning and User Services creates, promotes and delivers services, programming, and spaces to provide a high-quality user experience. With students at the centre of our educational mission it is this division’s responsibility to assess the ever-changing needs and expectations of users. One of the key roles of this division is to facilitate the discovery, access, and use of Library resources by providing friendly, supportive, and engaging in-person and online services. Learning and User Services will support a foundational literacy program which will strengthen students’ research skills to support learning outcomes.
Innovation and Digital Scholarship
Innovation and Digital Scholarship focuses on digital transformation, both within the Library and in collaboration with the university community. With the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of research and learning activities, digital transformation has been identified as a key area for the Library to offer value across disciplines. This division encourages the exploration, development and testing of new ideas and technologies to address shifting needs of information creators and strategic priorities. They will create an environment where all Library staff are inspired and empowered by innovation.
Content and Access
Content and Access brings together all the activities directly related to the Library’s collections, developing and managing the library collection, providing access to the content of the collection, through metadata and discovery systems, and administering content management systems. The Library’s collection consists of the resources selected and made accessible to support the teaching and research missions of the University. The new model will have a centralized collection strategy department to provide centralized oversight of collection development and of collections budget management. Centralized collection management is a model that better responds to the realities of collections work in modern day academic libraries.
Strategy and Planning
Strategy and Planning exists to support the Library as a whole, focusing on those areas that enable or promote Library strategy, such as planning, communications, development, and information management. The overarching goal of this new division is to foster a stronger planning culture and support the Library’s long-term strategy. It will support the development of clearly defined, prioritized, and communicated organizational goals that are understood by all Library employees. With the addition of the role of Vice-Provost, to the responsibilities of the University Librarian, the role of the Associate University Librarian of this division becomes more critical.
Library Administration provides and coordinates the operational functions necessary to carry out the business of the Library, such as financial, physical and human resources. The Chief Administrative Officer ensures budget oversight of the whole Library and develops strategic relationships with internal partners such as the Finance Service, Facilities Service and Protection Services.