‘Thanks for being awesome': using the learning organisation model to enhance client service

Catherine Clark, Bel Shilkin, Jill Benn, Merrilee Albatis, Roz Howard, Felicity Renner

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference presentation/ephemera

Abstract

Libraries are increasingly expected to demonstrate their value to parent organisations as well as an ability to be flexible and adaptable in a rapidly changing environment. A change in organisational structure provided the catalyst for student IT support services to be delivered from the Research and Learning Support (RLS) directorate within the Information Services department at the University of Western Australia (UWA). RLS had previously provided more traditional library services and the need for a flexible, adaptive and productive approach to learning and development as described by Senge (1990) led to the learning organisation method for the delivery of this new service model.

The authors chose to devise a service implementation method that utilised the development of both people and the organisation. This included engagement with all levels of staff prior to the new service commencing and throughout the implementation; the development and delivery of a training programme and mentoring. Opportunities within and outside the programme for practice and reflection were embedded and included peer to peer learning across two different organisational units. Outcome The integration of student IT support into traditional library inquiry services was an ambitious goal. While the new service model is still in its first year, the integrated approach has provided staff with a much broader skill set and increased interaction with clients. It sets the libraries and their people up as the experts in student IT support on campus and meets the University’s strategic aim of an enhanced student experience. Although the method was devised for this particular organisational change, it could be applied to other areas of need particularly as the learning organisation approach has become a more integrated part of the organisational culture.

The integration of student IT support into traditional library inquiry services was an ambitious goal. While the new service model is still in its first year, the integrated approach has provided staff with a much broader skill set and increased interaction with clients. It sets the libraries and their people up as the experts in student IT support on campus and meets the University’s strategic aim of an enhanced student experience. Although the method was devised for this particular organisational change, it could be applied to other areas of need particularly as the learning organisation approach has become a more integrated part of the organisational culture.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013
EventIFLA World Library and Information Congress, 79th IFLA General Conference and Assembly - Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre , Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 17 Aug 201323 Aug 2013

Conference

ConferenceIFLA World Library and Information Congress, 79th IFLA General Conference and Assembly
CountrySingapore
CitySingapore
Period17/08/1323/08/13

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    Clark, C., Shilkin, B., Benn, J., Albatis, M., Howard, R., & Renner, F. (2013). ‘Thanks for being awesome': using the learning organisation model to enhance client service. Paper presented at IFLA World Library and Information Congress, 79th IFLA General Conference and Assembly, Singapore, Singapore. http://library.ifla.org/162/