“Thanks for being awesome”: using the learning organisation model to enhance client service

CLARK, Catherine and SHILKIN, Bel and BENN, Jill and ALBATIS, Merrilee and HOWARD, Roz and RENNER, Felicity (2013) “Thanks for being awesome”: using the learning organisation model to enhance client service. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2013 - Singapore - Future Libraries: Infinite Possibilities in Session 100 - Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning with Education and Training.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

“Thanks for being awesome”: using the learning organisation model to enhance client service

Aim Libraries are increasingly expected to demonstrate their value to parent organisations as well as an ability to be flexible and adaptable in a rapidly changing environment. A change in organisational structure provided the catalyst for student IT support services to be delivered from the Research and Learning Support (RLS) directorate within the Information Services department at the University of Western Australia (UWA). RLS had previously provided more traditional library services and the need for a flexible, adaptive and productive approach to learning and development as described by Senge (1990) led to the learning organisation method for the delivery of this new service model. Method The authors chose to devise a service implementation method that utilised the development of both people and the organisation. This included engagement with all levels of staff prior to the new service commencing and throughout the implementation; the development and delivery of a training programme and mentoring. Opportunities within and outside the programme for practice and reflection were embedded and included peer to peer learning across two different organisational units. Outcome The integration of student IT support into traditional library inquiry services was an ambitious goal. While the new service model is still in its first year, the integrated approach has provided staff with a much broader skill set and increased interaction with clients. It sets the libraries and their people up as the experts in student IT support on campus and meets the University’s strategic aim of an enhanced student experience. Although the method was devised for this particular organisational change, it could be applied to other areas of need particularly as the learning organisation approach has become a more integrated part of the organisational culture.

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