Imoroving the organizational structure for an electronic environment: a case analysis of Kuwait University libraries. Nouf A. Al- Shuraian. Changing environment. So in libraries, they have to change their ways and direction in order to accompany with the environment changes.
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Nouf A. Al-Shuraian
So in libraries, they have to change their ways and direction in order to accompany with the environment changes.
One of the most obvious changes is automation
Automation is one side of the changing environment.
We hear the word automation a lot. But we don’t have a simple definition for it.
Simply, automation is the replacement of manual operations by computerized method.
Now we have access to all e-books, e-journals, getting the full version from home, reading a book through the internet, …. Etc.
Kuwait university libraries administration has already implemented VTLS (The Virginia Tech Library System) system for automation of its operations.
The second factor is access versus ownership
Before libraries aimed to own as much as possible from different materials but now with the technology it’s easy to access to the different materials through the internet and to remote library catalogs, bibliographic databases, bulletin boards, newsgroups, electronic conferences and more.
The third factor is customer focus
Which is to provide customers with operations support and satisfaction for their information needs.
Libraries and different institutions now going toward TQM = Total Quality Management which provide change in organizational structures to produce flatter organizations, empower employees, and decision making to lower levels.
Kuwait university libraries have been trying to provide access to users to the local and external information resources through a network either from campus or home.
The last factor is restructuring of higher education
As you can see these two images explain what is restructuring
Which is the need for change in the ways libraries reorganize, function and provide services.
Higher education institutions are changing due to the changing in the external environment.
Assistant Director for information services and faculty libraries
For technical services
Art library (women)
F. Acq. D.
A. Acq. D.
E. & P. library
AV & P.S.
K. & G. IC
G. & E.
Art library (men)
A. S. library
I am going to mention the changes in organizational structures of libraries.
Most libraries have traditionally been hierarchical organizations with three main divisions.
Kuwait university libraries are organized under the libraries administration. In which all the different libraries report to them except Allied Health and Medical library that report to the dean of the medical college.
Kuwait university libraries have two divisions which are technical and information services.
As you can see each division has some departments.
Vice President For Academic Support Services
A. D. for L. S. & N.
A. D. for F. L.
A. D. for T.S
A. & M. L.
Collection D. Team
K. & G. IC
A. W. L.
A. S. & U.N.
E. & P. L.
AV & P. S.
G. & E.
They change it to be like this to accompany with the change of the external environment and face the new information needs.
According to the change :
There has been some difficulties in implementing the new structure which are:
The university budget and the changes.
The fear of staff members to loss their positions.
And to establish a library advisory committee consisting of faculty members and students to advise the Library Director on general policy issues and services.
Now proposed strategies.
Developing vision, goals and objectives of the organization process.
Appointing a core team or a committee to lead the organization
Seeking the commitment of the top management is crucial for
any change effort to succeed.
Involving all the staff members in the process.
Listening to the concerns of the departments that are being reorganized.
Proving staff development opportunities as needed in the new
Developing a new culture through integration, collaboration, trust,
Evaluating the organizational structure when it is appropriate to critically scrutinize the operations of the organization.
The first strategy is as you can see “developing vision, goals, and objectives of the organization process.
Why is that?
To ensure that all operations, divisions, and units support the information needs of users.
As you can see in this figure. This is an example of how the organization should develop its vision, goals and objectives.
“appointing a core team or a committee to lead the organization effort” is the second strategy .
Which is each team member needs to be encouraged to go beyond personal affiliation with any unit or department. The committee should think strategically from inside and outside the charge.
In the figure you can see the important role of the core team that’s why they have to be encouraged to think out of the box in order to reach -----
The third strategy is “seeking the commitment of the top management is crucial for any change effort to succeed.
As we all can see here that the management commitment should be at first , why?
In order to accomplish the goals and objectives of the organization, the management commitment should be first to take the right decisions
Involving all the staff members in the process. Is the fourth strategy
Many staff members might feel threatened to loss their jobs through the process. The vitality of the process needs to be highlighted. A useful technique is developing flow charts of work processes to provide all staff with a better understanding of specific operations. Staff members will be in the best position to state operational problems and will be the source of many structural answers. Staff will view change more positively when given the opportunity to participate and assume ownership for the change process.
We have to listen, “listening to the concerns of the departments that are being reorganized” is the fifth strategy which I think it is very important. It is like the feed back.
Department heads may oppose reorganization because they dislike scrutiny or they fear that departmental shortcomings might be exposed. These fears are not totally unfounded and need to be addressed appropriately.
“providing staff development opportunities as needed in the new organizational structure” is the sixth strategy
It is important to invest an adequate amount of training time and resources into the organization programme and to schedule these activities accordingly in the implementation phases.
The seventh strategy is “developing a new culture through integration, collaboration, trust and innovations.
“evaluating the organizational structure when it is appropriate to critically scrutinize the operations of the organization.” is the last strategy. Which is to measure the success of the process.
At the end, there are some key factors in order to have a successful organization like:
Staff participation and cooperation.
Communications at all levels. AND
Even if the library has these key factors
It might face some practical problems in which the management should be willing to reconsider the positions it might have taken with the stance of understanding and compromise.