Degrees of Change and the Role of Collaboration

The Extending Reach of the Library

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Diagram of Degrees of Change and the Role of Collaboration

Think of the graph as the five fingers of the extending hand of the library.

Central (middle finger) are the Collections; or, more broadly, the information resources; the fingers of Discovery, Access, Service, and Preservation add value to resources and enable their use.

The base (upper ends) of the fingers describes traditional library activities and roles that will continue, to differing degrees, into the foreseeable future. The extending tips of the fingers highlight evolving and future directions. Technology fuels this movement, raises expectations, introduces challenge, and enables change.

The library is evolving from a sole source of responsibility of discovery, access, collections, services and preservation to a shared source of stewardship, playing both a leadership and a collaborative role with other intellectual partners. In the context of the hand metaphor: the mix of choices and directions are in the palm of our hand. Choices are acted upon to different degrees according to character of institution and readiness for change.

The graph concept can be successfully used in the context of strategic planning, budget building, space configuration, staff planning, performance expectations, etc.