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A significant portion of all NASIG core competencies call for effective communication skills, project management, people management, and personal qualities such as tolerance for change, complexity, and ambiguity. But these competencies don’t come easy and may not be shared. So what can you do when called upon to lead your colleagues through a high-impact, stressful project like a systems migration?
Armacost Library at the University of Redlands recently completed a three-year migration project from Millennium to Primo/Alma that included three phases: strategic planning; vendor selection; and implementation of an ILS, discovery service, knowledge base and proxy server. Recognizing the challenges this posed for library employees, leaders of this smaller academic library structured the migration project to encourage collective ownership. Teams were carefully constructed to span departments and cross staff-librarian lines, recognizing individual strengths, weaknesses, power, position, and experience. Everyone was assigned to at least one implementation team, and often had a designated role (e.g., insider, outsider, communicator, etc.)
The resulting experience pushed employees (presenters included) well out of our comfort zones as we took risks and were vulnerable in front of each other. We experimented with new technologies, rebuilt our workflows and reimagined our roles, weathering unexpected challenges along the way.
This presentation will walk attendees through our library’s evolving efforts to build collective ownership into our migration infrastructure. Through purposeful decisions we managed multiple projects, supported colleagues, facilitated effective communication, and increased tolerance for change, complexity, and ambiguity.
Sanjeet Mann is Interim Assistant Director and Arts and Systems Librarian at Armacost Library, University of Redlands, where he coordinates library systems and technology and works with the Art, Creative Writing, Music and Theatre departments.
Paige Mann (pronouns: she, her, hers, they, their) is the Scholarly Communications Librarian and the STEM Librarian at the University of Redlands. Paige advocates for anti-colonial practices in scholarly communication, academic self-determination, and open practices in order to promote socially just ways to value people.