Open Conference Systems at Dalhousie, International Association of University Libraries, 2016 Conference

Font Size: 
Developing a 'beta mindset': building a change-ready workforce and culture
Jennifer Peasley

Last modified: 2016-03-07


In an era of rapidly evolving technology, changing government policy and increased client expectations - and despite predictions of their demise - university libraries have continued to adapt and even thrive. Building on the changes that resulted from a major restructure at La Trobe University in 2014, La Trobe University Library is focused on developing and sustaining an agile workforce that is able to respond quickly and innovatively to emerging trends and changing client needs. To continue to remain relevant to our institution, we recognise that we will need to be agile and responsive to change and to leverage the skills and expertise of library staff in new ways. We are promoting the adoption of a 'beta mindset', acknowledging that we will need to constantly evolve. While we will ensure that our services are of a high quality, we will not aim for perfection but instead will refine our services over time as we gain insights and new ideas for further development and improvement. We are fostering a culture that views change and adaptation as an ongoing opportunity and accepts a level of risk, with the possibility of failure, acknowledging that the learning that takes place is as important as the outcome. Using a 'stop/start/continue' methodology, services and processes are regularly reviewed to ensure they are relevant and meet client needs. Library staff are encouraged to look beyond the library's traditional services to identify new opportunities and experiment with new collaborations which enable the library to take a leadership role across the university. This paper will explore the challenges of changing the library's culture, embedding a 'beta mindset' in the organisation and identifying indicators of success for this cultural change.