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8 Mar 2004 - 3 Mar 2016
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The Five Colleges of Ohio
Application to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Library Technical Services Work Redesign
Denison University Kenyon College
November 12, 2003
Project Statement
Goal: We will improve access to information resources and create value-added services for our patrons through the cooperative efforts of the libraries of Denison University and Kenyon College.
Our priority is to create a robust system in which the focus is on constantly evolving patron information needs, research patterns, and desires. The system must be flexible, malleable, and adaptable. The library's technical services operations may become radically different than they are now and the convenience and efficiency of the staff will be a secondary consideration. We recognize and affirm our role as an organization focused on providing the best service for liberal arts undergraduates and their faculty.
This project will not only produce efficiencies of scale, but will also ask and answer the fundamental questions of the role of a technical services operation in the 21st century liberal arts college library, accepting no assumptions about how we have managed these processes in the past. We will design a work process that accurately reflects and addresses the needs of our patrons in an electronic age, recognizing the changed information-seeking behaviors that networked information has brought us. This will have implications for both our physical and virtual collections, as well as the access tools we have, or will create, to navigate them. We envision this project as a catalyst for continued growth in our local library consortium as we enhance our shared storage facility and access tools.
Successful completion of this project will result in the establishment of a combined and reshaped collection management (technical services) department for Denison University and Kenyon College (two members of the Five Colleges of Ohio, Inc. consortium, established with Mellon Foundation assistance in 1995).
Rationale/The Case for Action
Over the past thirty years, an information revolution has transformed our lives - both personal and professional. We now share information in all formats with a speed of dissemination recently unimaginable. A decade ago few would have conceived of streaming video, ubiquitous web-based music, wireless applications supporting laptops in McDonald's, inexpensive video phones that transmit photographs instantly, electronic books, on-demand publishing. Libraries have the means to provide viable, authoritative, responsive, and value-added service in the new information age if we redesign our operations with a fresh accommodation to that information environment.
A constant through this sea of change is the mission of libraries or information service bureaus - to assist patrons in navigating that sea of information. Through judicious selection of appropriate materials, the creation of value-added access tools, and instruction in the use of these resources, libraries achieve that mission. Over time our libraries have built up processes designed to support the mission, but these processes are based on assumptions that have now lost validity and vitality in managing today's information environment. Among these assumptions are:
If our libraries are to remain effective and useful to our patrons, we must revise and redesign our processes and workflows. We must reexamine the basic definitions and assumptions we have made historically. We must model our organizations and our access tools to reflect today's information realities. The root of all we do now stems from a pre-computerized understanding of libraries and how people use them. For a time, converting manual methodologies to computer-assisted processes worked well. If we are to maintain our utility and vitality for our patrons given the stunning growth in information resources and the fundamental change in information delivery methods from physical to electronic, we can no longer rely on our assumptions about library work processes.
The rate at which new information is added to our universe of resources has grown exponentially, and it will not slow nor cease. The way our users go about their research today has fundamentally and permanently changed. They rely heavily on electronic resources that are accessed and found through tools not maintained by our libraries. Google is one of the best examples of a ubiquitous search engine that is not library-based. Users expectations of information delivery methods and timelines have changed. The importance of just-in-time delivery of information is growing in prominence.
Therefore, the Libraries of Denison University and Kenyon College, recognizing these permanent shifts in our business, intend to ensure that our organizations remain viable and effective in carrying out our mission to support the best undergraduate teaching and research opportunities. We look forward to reconceptualizing our processes for making information available and to the creation of improved, innovative access tools.
Simply put, it is our goal to acquire, provide, and maintain collections and access tools of unique and exceptional quality that are fundamentally driven by the current and future needs of our patrons, not by the past practices of our libraries.
Objectives
We will evaluate, plan, and implement a new model for providing collection management services to Denison University and Kenyon College. This will involve a complete examination of our processes from the time an item is identified for addition to the collections until it is placed upon the shelf or is available to users via electronic access. This includes making information in all formats available to users.
We will reinvent library processes for handling physical objects and online resources. We will create a new technical services team for Denison and Kenyon. Key personnel from both schools will be included in the planning process to be undertaken by the Planning Task Force. The Task Force will secure input from all library personnel to reinvent existing workflows, integrate work processes for the two colleges, and create the team that will carry the work forward at the end of the grant period.
As an integral part of redesigning the work of the Technical Services departments, we need to move from manual authority control processing to machine-assisted processing provided by a vendor. Machine-assisted processing provides accurate, efficient, and cost-effective loading of authority records to enrich our catalog and allows staff to work on other tasks, particularly those requiring intellectual activities.
In addition to assessing and implementing shared processes for the collection management areas, we will study, identify, and create new methods of providing access tools for our collections. Those tools will recognize and incorporate the wide range of resources our constituents use. Managing and accessing electronic materials will be a central part of this redesign effort. Better oversight and management of our physical shared storage areas and our shared access tools such as the CONSORT library catalog will be achieved as well. We will create a culture by which this redesigned department will be proactive in anticipating changes in information delivery and searching mechanisms. The new team will be able to adapt work processes continually and thoughtfully.
Administration
  1. Sponsor
    The sponsors are Denison University and Kenyon College under the consortium name Five Colleges of Ohio, Inc. The other consortium partners, The College of Wooster, Oberlin College, and Ohio Wesleyan University, endorse the project, though they will not be direct participants in the grant. The Five Colleges of Ohio executive office will administer the grant funds and provide additional assistance.

  2. Participants
    Denison University and Kenyon College will be the grant participants. Members of the Pre-planning Group and the Planning Task Force are listed below. The Preplanning Group will meet four half days in Fall 2003, reading and discussing a key text on work redesign, Hammer & Champy, Reengineering the Corporation (2001). The time commitment for members of the Task Force will be at least one full day every other week during the grant period. The schedule will be variable over the course of the grant, with the heaviest workload expected to be in Summer 2004.

  3. Pre-planning Group
    Denison University
    Scottie Cochrane, Director of Libraries
    Ellen Conrad, Catalog Specialist
    Kevin Furniss, Cataloging/Systems Support

    Kenyon College
    Christopher Barth, Director of Information Resources
    Karen Greever, Head of Technical Services
    Dan Temple, Vice President for Library and Information Services
    Barbara Thompson, Librarian and Technology Consultant

    The Five Colleges of Ohio
    Michael Upfold, CONSORT Library Systems Manager

  4. Planning Task Force
    Denison University
    Ellen Conrad (facilitator), Catalog Specialist
    Kevin Furniss, Cataloging/Systems Support
    two additional Denison University Library representatives

    Kenyon College
    Karen Greever, Head of Technical Services
    Barbara Thompson, Librarian and Technology Consultant
    two or three additional Kenyon College Library representatives

    The Five Colleges of Ohio
    Michael Upfold, CONSORT Library Systems Manager
Workplan
To accomplish our objectives, these are the steps we will follow over the course of the grant:
  1. Conduct planning meetings (Pre-planning Group)
  2. Appoint Planning Task Force
  3. Select Project Consultant
  4. Train Planning Task Force
  5. Gather information, including readiness assessment
  6. Conduct workflow analysis with the help of a Technical Services Consultant
  7. Develop process maps for key work activities and identify needed changes
  8. Present proposals to Library Directors
  9. Develop plan and timeline for implementing changes within the libraries
  10. Begin implementation of the plan
During the grant term, we will track and evaluate the process, continuing to measure it against the project objectives. We will make regular reports to the library directors of Denison and Kenyon and to the directors of the other three consortial libraries.
Timeline - January 1, 2004 to August 15, 2005
January 1-May 15, 2004:
Note: At least one of the three senior administrators for the grant (Christopher Barth, Scottie Cochrane, and Dan Temple) will meet with the task force at the end of every fourth meeting to answer questions and receive a progress report.
May 15-Aug. 31, 2004:
Sept. 1-Nov. 1, 2004:
Prepare the implementation plan for the redesigned work (due November1,2004)
Nov. 2004-April 30, 2005:
April 30, 2005-July 1, 2005:
Conclusion
As always, we thank the Mellon Foundation for another unique and extraordinary opportunity to move to a new level of library service in liberal arts colleges. We are excited about having the support to allow us to explore, plan, and undertake this joint work redesign project and to partner once again with the Mellon Foundation.
Appendices
  1. History
    The Five Colleges of Ohio (Ohio5) Library Directors began discussing the possibility of sharing some "technical services" functions in the winter of 2003. The discussion began as a natural line of inquiry stemming from the existing shared off-site storage facility and the consortial collection development study project. At the same time, Dan Temple, Vice President for Library and Information Services at Kenyon, was invited to participate in a Mellon Foundation-Council on Library and Information Resources library workflow redesign exercise intended to lead to Mellon funding of a few projects that could be documented and used nationally by Mellon-CLIR to encourage similar projects. Temple, Christopher Barth, Director of Information Resources at Kenyon, and Scottie Cochrane, Director of Libraries at Denison, met in June 2003, to explore the possibilities of developing the Ohio5 "technical services" discussions into a concrete project. Denison and Kenyon proceeded to outline a joint project as a subset of the Ohio5 with the encouragement of the other consortial institutions, who decided not to participate at this time.
    In July 2003, Cochrane and Temple attended a two-day conference in New York City focusing on the fundamental elements of workflow redesign projects, and preliminary discussions of the specific projects proposed by the participants. Subsequently, Barth, Cochrane, and Temple began to plan an approach to the project. They researched a variety of books and articles on the general subject of change and work redesign, and decided that Hammer and Champy's Reengineering the Corporation offered the best text for exploring the redesign idea with the Pre-planning Group. They held a series of four five-hour meetings with agendas as follows:
    September 24 discussion leader - Dan Temple
    1. introductions
    2. why? and the history of the project
    3. the Dan-Scottie-Chris vision of the outcome
    4. the Dan-Scottie-Chris vision of the process
    5. discussion of chapters 1 through 5 of Reengineering the Corporation

    October 1 discussion leader - Chris Barth
    1. review
    2. discussion of chapter 6 through the end of Reengineering the Corporation

    October 8 discussion leader - Scottie Cochrane
    1. review
    2. discuss our vision of the OUTCOME of the work redesign process
    3. discussion of the Project Proposal to Mellon
    4. discussion of the PROCESS: the Task Force composition and plan of action

    October 29 discussion leader -Scottie Cochrane
    1. review
    2. continue discussion of the PROCESS: the Task Force composition and plan of action
    This planning group consisted of Dan Temple, Chris Barth. Karen Greever, and Barbara Thompson from Kenyon; Scottie Cochrane, Ellen Conrad, and Kevin Furniss from Denison; and Michael Upfold from the Ohio5.
    The products of these meetings were:
    • a rational/case for action document (See p. 1)
    • a grant proposal for the Mellon Foundation
    • a process map/diagram (See Appendix 2)
    • key concepts from Reengineering the Corporation(See Appendix 3)
    • a vision statement of the PROCESS (See Appendix 4)
    • a vision statement of the OUTCOME (See Appendix 5)


  2. Process Map


  3. Key Concepts from Reengineering the Corporation
    In preparation for the Denison-Kenyon Library Work Redesign Task Force, the planning committee identified several key concepts from Reengineering the Corporation by Michael Hammer and James Champy, 2001. Foremost is an ever-present focus on the constituent (in our case the library patron is the constituent). We must articulate a clear vision of today's researchers and their needs, and strive to fulfill those needs.
    To achieve the goals of redesign, Hammer and Champy identify the prime importance of individual staff members who are effective working in teams and who exhibit: job ownership, a high degree of personal responsibility, authority appropriate to their responsibilities, accountability for results, a multitasking orientation, a thorough education (as opposed to just training), and productivity (as opposed to protectiveness).
    Other key concepts are:
    • Focus on processes, rather than tasks
    • Make no assumptions
    • Communicate persistently and in a variety of ways
    • Expect disruption and conflict (and its resolution). They are inevitable.


  4. Process
    A Vision of the PROCESS: 10-8-03
    With financial support for the Mellon Foundation, a task force of Denison and Kenyon staff will work together from approximately January 2004 through August 2005, along with outside experts as needed and appropriate, to design and implement a process and the associated organizational plan to accomplish the vision described in "Vision of the OUTCOME".


  5. Outcome
    A Vision of the OUTCOME of the Mellon-sponsored Work Redesign Process: 10-8-03
    A single collection management unit for the Denison University and Kenyon College libraries will be conceived and created by a team of staff from the two libraries. The unit will include a visible presence at the remote storage facility, CONStor, and it will be responsible for:
    • acquiring information resources in all formats for Kenyon and Denison;
    • managing the Kenyon-Denison information resources records to maximize the usefulness of these resources to our scholarly communities;
    • improving users' access to all our resources - both physical and virtual, bringing into balance the amount of time staff spend handling physical vs. virtual materials;
    • leading the Ohio5 consortial collection development initiatives in cooperation with existing and ongoing cooperative collection development activities;
    • managing the Ohio5 off-site storage policies and the CONStor facility in collaboration with the consortium's Collection Development and Management Committee;
    • continuously adopting, adapting, and innovating ways to make the research tools we provide to our scholarly communities more comprehensive and more efficient to use.
    This unit will organize its work process around the current and future needs of our patrons, making no assumptions about existing processes, while fully embracing technological and managerial innovations in our field.