Embracing a User-Focused Future

Published on March 29, 2018

Over the next year, Western Libraries is adopting a new user-centric organizational model born out of broad participation and engagement with our user communities and staff. The goal of the new structure is to advance the teaching, learning and research outcomes of our users and the academic and strategic priorities of Western.

The result? Saying goodbye to an organization primarily defined by physical library locations - and the silos that come with it - and ushering in a new focus on collaboration with one system, one mission and a common set of values and goals.

Organizational renewal framework diagramUsers are at the heart of the new model and are directly supported by an engaged staff with a deep commitment to student success, teaching and research excellence, and quality service.

By working together within an integrated service model, Western Libraries can seamlessly deliver services across virtual and physical locations, ensuring Western students, faculty, researchers and alumni connect with the services they need, when and where they need them.

The model features five core user functions: User Experience and Student Engagement; Teaching and Learning; Research and Scholarly Communication; Content Management, Discovery and Access; and Archives and Special Collections. Each function is designed to foster an optimal user experience, deliver strategic services, and directly contribute to learning, teaching, and research goals.

The foundational functions of administration, operations, and information technology services as well as our leadership across the system provide unifying support and direction - all to enhance the user experience.

The best part of the new model is it affords the necessary flexibility to adapt to unique service requirements. As our users' needs evolve, so too can the kinds of support and services offered. That way, while Western Libraries continues to help shape its users' future, they'll be actively shaping ours.

"I'm very proud of the hard work and vision Western Libraries staff brought to the Organizational Renewal Initiative. Their deep consideration of the evolving role of research libraries and the implications for organizational design and service delivery has resulted in an exciting new model driven by the desire to advance our communities' academic and research excellence."
- Catherine Steeves, Vice-Provost & Chief Librarian, Western Libraries

Watch for more details on the new model and the role of the core user functions in future editions of the Insider. Learn more about our Organizational Renewal and view the full report.