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Embedding Collective Ownership in a Systems Migration


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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.

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Embedding Collective Ownership in a Systems Migration

  1. 1. Embedding Collective Ownership Into a Systems Migration Paige Mann Scholarly Communications Librarian Sanjeet Mann Systems Librarian 33rd Annual NASIG Conference • Atlanta, GA • June 10, 2018
  2. 2. Agenda Context Things to know upfront Whys & Hows Takeaways
  3. 3. University of Redlands, Armacost Library
  4. 4. BEFORE AFTER ILS Millennium Alma Resolver 360 Link Alma ERMS SharePoint Alma Proxy WAM EZproxy Discovery N/A Primo Consortial Borrowing Link+ N/A ILL ILLIAD Repository BePress Website, FAQ, Guides, Chat Springshare
  5. 5. Strategic Planning Jul 2015 – Aug 2016 Vendor Selection May - Dec 2016 Migration January - June 2017 Post- Migration Jul 2017 – Jun 2018 Four Phases of Migration
  6. 6. SystemMigrationschange… Technology Culture Library in the Life of the User
  7. 7. Values Agency Collaboration User Centered
  8. 8. Inside the Directors’ Meeting Room What kind of library do we want to be? personnel How do we pay for this? Let’s negotiate How will this affect library users?
  9. 9. Agenda Context Whys & Hows Embedding values into the process Takeaways
  10. 10. Experiencing a System Migration
  11. 11. • Threatened by the unknown • Loss of status, authority, expertise • Uncertain role and future • Self-esteem • Dissatisfied or unsafe socially • Opportunities?!*%#^& (Baronas, A. M. K., & Louis, M. R, 1988; Day, A., & Ou., C., 2017; Dula, Jacobsen, Ferguson, & Ross, 2012; Jost, 2016)
  12. 12. "When end users are involved in decisions relating to system selection and implementation, they are more invested in and concerned with the success of the system." (Yeh & Walter, 2016, p. 33) Baronas and Louis (1988) suggest • Give people choices to make meaningful decisions • Make things predictable by providing a complete and accurate picture of the entire process • Empower people to be responsible for specific tasks
  13. 13. Vision Agency Collaboration User Centered
  14. 14. Agency Collaboration User Centered Self Other
  15. 15. CHALLENGES Buy-in Resistance Silos Hierarchical thinking OPPORTUNITIES Flexible thinking Teamwork Cooperative decision-making Cross-training Risk taking
  16. 16. Everyone isPart ofa Team Team TeamTeam
  17. 17. Insiders Supervisor(s) of Insiders Outsiders TeamsareMixed
  18. 18. Insiders Supervisor(s) of Insiders Outsiders TeamsareFacilitated Voting rights
  19. 19. EveryoneisaLearner Library Leadership Librarians Staff Migration Leaders
  20. 20. Communication isa SharedResponsibility w/inLibrary Team TeamTeam
  21. 21. Agendas&Minutes Team Team Team Library
  23. 23. Foundations We each have something to contribute Fear and anxiety are normal Change is difficult Support one another Make room for mistakes Make the hidden visible
  24. 24. Weekly TimeBurdens 3 2 2 2 1 1 3 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 4 DIRECTOR SUPERVISOR STAFF (OUTSIDER) STAFF STAFF STAFF (PART-TIME) HOURS Meetings Homework Vendor Calls Configurations
  25. 25. Shared Understanding of Roles& Relationships Power Daily Responsibilities
  26. 26. Shared Understanding of Roles& Relationships Supporters Informed Impacted Enforcers Power Daily Responsibilities
  27. 27. Predictable Agendas Available one-week earlier Single topic Date, time, & location Minute-taker Allotted times Homework Reports & ground rules Opening & closing activities
  28. 28. Sharing& Supporting Opening  I feel ____ because ______  I’d like to be a better team member by _____ today  I hope to learn more about _____  I could use some help with _____ Closing  Today I’d like to recognize ____ for contributing _____ to our team
  29. 29. Confidence Scales 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% PROCESSING REQUESTS ADDING INTERNAL NOTES MARKING ITEMS AS MISSING SEARCHING AND FILTERING RESULTS CHECK ITEMS IN AND OUT Poor Fair Satisfactory Good Excellent
  30. 30. Agenda Context Whys & Hows Takeaways Core Competencies and learning
  31. 31. Core Competenciesfor ElectronicResource Librarians 1. Life Cycle 2. Technology 3. Research & Assessment 4. Communication 5. Supervision & Management 6. Professional Development 7. Personal Attributes
  32. 32. ERLCoreCompetencies andMigration Management Agency • Manage projects and time (5.2, 7.4) • Understand technology and how it’s used (2, 3.6, 5.6) • Communicate persuasively (3.8, 4.5) Collaboration • Effective relationships (4.4, 5.5) • Supervise, train, motivate (5.1) • Communicate broadly (4.1) User Centered • Persistent (7.3) • Open-minded (7.1) • Other-centered (4.3)
  33. 33. Bettermeetings:Learningovertime • Usability personas 2010 • Web team 2011 • ER workflows • Faculty Committees 2012-15 • Systems team vendor research 2016 LFA P
  34. 34. Collective Ownershipand TeamLearning  “Unsuccessful” experiences are not the end of the story  Learn iteratively and collectively  Don’t make big decisions alone  Surround yourself with people to fill in your gaps
  35. 35. Management and Migrations Library managers … have a high level of visibility. And we have the opportunity to set policy and influence organizational culture. By moving toward a more just management practice we will move toward more just libraries and hopefully will contribute to the creation of more just communities. (Branum and Masland 2017)
  36. 36. Anti-Oppressive Resource & Training Alliance. (2017, June). Anti-oppressive facilitation for democratic process: Making meetings awesome for everyone. In Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance. Retrieved from Baronas, A. M. K., & Louis, M. R. (1988). Restoring a sense of control during implementation: How user involvement leads to a system acceptance. MIS Quarterly, 12(1), 111-124. Branum, C., & Masland, T. (2017). Critical library management: Administrating for equity. Critical Librarianship, 23(2), 28- 36. Day, A., & Ou, C. (2017). Determining organizational readiness for an ILS migration—A strategic approach. College & Undergraduate Libraries, 24(1), 103-116. Dula, M., Jacobsen, L., Ferguson, T., & Ross, R. (2012, January/February). Implementing a new cloud computing library management service: A symbiotic approach. Computers in Libraries, 32, 6-11. Jost, R. M. (2016). Selecting and implementing an integrated library system: The most important decision you will ever make. Waltham, MA: Amsterdam: Chandos Publishing. Toshalis, E. (2015). Make me!: Understanding and engaging student resistance in school. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press. Yeh, S. T., & Walter, Z. (2016). Critical success factors for integrated library system implementation in academic libraries: A qualitative study. Information Technology and Libraries, 35(3), 27-42. References
  37. 37. Bregman, E., & Kappler, A. (2007). New supervisors in technical services: A management guide using checklists. Chicago: American Library Association. Gray, D., Brown, S., & Macanufo, J. (2010). Gamestorming: A playbook for innovators, rulebreakers, and changemakers. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media, Inc. Mitchell, R., Agle, B., & Wood, D. (1997). Toward a theory of stakeholder identification and salience: Defining the principle of who and what really counts. The Academy of Management Review, 22(4), 853-886. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2010). Introduction to planning and facilitating effective meetings. Retrieved from Richardson, M. (2006). The people management clinic: Answers to your most frequently asked questions. London: Thorogood Publishing Ltd. Schreiber, B., & Shannon, J. (2011). Leading from Any Position: Improving library effectiveness and responsiveness. Infopeople workshop held December 5-6, 2011, Pomona, CA. Sibbet, D. (2010). Visual meetings: How graphics, sticky notes & idea mapping can transform group productivity. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Additional Resources
  38. 38. Let’s Tawk