chapter  3
20 Pages

Change Management in Business Libraries

ByThorsten Meyer, Claudia Liebetruth

Life is all about change; it is universal and we cannot avoid it. We encounter change in every stage of our lives: starting at school or later at university; getting our first job; then changing workplaces later on or moving to another city. All these changes demand quite an effort on our part to adjust and adapt to new ways of life and new challenges. You may have to change your levels of self-awareness in order to take on a new role in life, become accustomed to a new environment, develop new skills or build up a new social network. We either welcome these changes or resist them, and sometimes it is a bit of both. There are also lots of little changes that we may not really notice, such as getting a new mobile phone and having to learn a new interface. Business, too, is all about change, especially in our society where broad access to information and the speed of technological innovation accelerate business activities faster than ever. This affects our day-to-day work in general and the way in which libraries work in particular. Now that information can be accessed quickly and from almost anywhere, expectations of libraries have changed – they are no longer just about the archiving of knowledge and distribution of books. They have to turn into information centres and adapt to new technologies in order to meet customer needs. Information centres now have to compete with the likes of Google (which currently comes closest of all to meeting these changed customer needs) in order to survive. Furthermore, business libraries (as a special type of library – for example, because of (partly) private funding), have to deal with budget constraints and general fiscal environments which can hinder service delivery.