But where is the library ...?: Reframing the library at the University of Melbourne in a shared services environment
academic library structures
higher education service models
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AbstractCommencing in late 2013 and continuing through 2014, the University of Melbourne, a research-intensive and highly ranked Australian university, undertook an extensive review of all services, business processes and the required resourcing profile to deliver them. This review, known as the Business Improvement Program, ultimately led to a complete reconceptualization of the University’s operating model, the most significant in its 160 year history. The scale of the change was sweeping and the speed was audacious, resulting in the implementation of a new shared-services model across the University known as the Melbourne Operating Model. The entire University has been reorganized according to the principles of this operating model.
The model has three core elements – Chancellery (responsible for leadership of overarching University strategy, policy, brand and capital); Academic Divisions (or Faculties and Schools), and University Services where the operational activities of the University are grouped together as shared services to support Academic Divisions (Faculties) to deliver on their teaching, research and engagement agendas.
How did the Library fare? As a formal, visible organisational unit, the University Library ceased to exist. The University Librarian took on the mantle of University Librarian & Executive Director, Collections and was placed in Chancellery to provide strategic direction and policy oversight to the Library as well as to the University’s other cultural collections located in Faculties. However Library services, delivered by the two directorates of Scholarly Information and Research and Collections, were positioned as discrete operational units within the Academic Services division of University Services, so that both Directors (who formerly reported to the University Librarian), now report to the Executive Director for Academic Services.
In this presentation the authors outline the background and rationale of the Business Improvement Program at the University of Melbourne and describe the current organisational structure under the Melbourne Operating Model. They present their personal views on how the Model has impacted the Library’s operational activities and priorities within the wider Academic Services context and describe how operational separation from the strategic leadership of the University Librarian position has been managed.
June 5-9, 2016