Organizational Renewal

We in Western Libraries are excited to introduce a new organizational model that will enhance our capacity to advance research, teaching and learning outcomes across campus and beyond. We anticipate that the move to our new organizational model will be in place by September 2018. In anticipation of these upcoming changes, we want to share some important information with the members of our community about our plans to provide library support now, during the transition period, as well as into the future.

What are the new functional areas and teams?

Western Libraries' new organizational structure and integrated services model will be built around the following five core functional areas:

  • The User Experience and Student Engagement team will provide a seamless experience of library collections and services across our physical and virtual spaces. The team will foster student engagement through the provision of innovative events and services as a result of collaboration and partnership.
  • The Teaching and Learning team will advance the integration of information literacy and other digital literacy skills into course curriculum, provide instruction, and develop a variety of extra-curricular and co-curricular information literacy experiences.
  • The Research and Scholarly Communication team will support and contribute to research on campus throughout the research cycle, including the creation, management, dissemination, and preservation of knowledge and research data.
  • The Content Management, Discovery and Access team will provide ongoing access to high quality research collections across Western's disciplines.
  • The Archives and Special Collections team will acquire, preserve and provide access to key unique research collections, including digital content.

By way of background, in 2015, Western Libraries embarked on a strategic planning process that resulted in Engage, Empower Excel, a 5-year strategic plan developed to help us evolve our collections, services and facilities to meet the existing and emerging needs of the members of our campus community. To be successful in carrying out the aspirations of our strategic plan it is necessary for Western Libraries to reconceptualise our service and staffing. The new organizational model that we are introducing is the result of two years of extensive staff and user engagement.

What will this mean in the short term?

For the remainder of the current academic year, Western Libraries staff will be establishing new functional service teams and beginning to implement a transition plan.

For the moment, our users should see few substantive changes. It will essentially be business as usual, albeit with the potential for some minor changes in process and service levels as we prepare for the transition. During this time, our users can and should continue to engage with Western Libraries as they always have.

As the summer term progresses, we will be implementing the formal transition process that will enable us to move to the new model. We anticipate that we will be introducing elements of the new model incrementally, in anticipation of a formal launch at the start of the 2018-19 academic year. As a result, users will begin to see some changes and, depending on the specific library program or service, there may be new staff contacts, new processes, and, realistically, some initial delays in delivery. We will do our best to minimize the impact on our users during this transition period and we appreciate in advance everyone's patience and understanding.

What will this mean after the end of the current academic year?

In September 2018, our users -- Western faculty, students and staff -- will continue to receive the critical support provided by Western Libraries staff to achieve campus research, teaching and learning goals, while benefitting from a new functional approach and integrated services model that is more focused on the nature of the service being provided, and less on the physical location from which the work is done.

In the new functional model, users will continue to benefit from existing relationships with Western Libraries staff, while having the advantage of access to a broader range of knowledge and expertise and the opportunity to build new relationships and contacts. For example, a faculty member or graduate student who has traditionally worked with a single librarian as a point of contact for collections, teaching and/or research support will now have access to a team of librarians, archivists and other staff who can provide various types of expertise. The faculty member or graduate student can still reach out to his or her traditional contact, but now this librarian can draw on the expertise of or refer the request to one of many other library colleagues who can provide a range of often specialized services.

Where can I learn more or request services?

If you have any questions about these changes or about how to access library services, please contact Western Libraries.

More details on Western Libraries' new organizational model, including further description of the teams described above and a high-level implementation strategy, are available in the Organizational Renewal Initiative: Organizational Model and Structure Report.