Document Type

Campus Connection

Publication Date



The theme of this conference, uncharted waters, can evoke the disconcerting nature of uncertainty. As instruction librarians face challenges in a landscape of change, how can we navigate our institution’s organizational culture to be a strategic asset rather than a barrier to change?

This session will present case studies on organizational change from two instruction programs, Utah State University (USU) and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville (UTK). In our case studies, we analyze artifacts of culture, including program goals and planning documents, and interviews with stakeholders to determine the organization’s dominant culture and its views and expectations about change. We then use this understanding of each culture to explore the best ways to initiate change, especially with respect to the creation of a collaborative instructional improvement environment across campus. This combination of insider and outsider perspectives allowed us to analyze both organizational cultures and create strategies for managing change.

The case studies will provide the foundation for a practical discussion of organizational change with session participants. We will suggest strategies for analyzing any organizational culture and using this analysis strategically. We will also describe how conducting explicit discussions about organizational culture can serve as an agent of change, both within the library and across campus. By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • read organizational cultures
  • lead discussions about cultural assumptions as a way to intentionally manage change
  • implement strategies that will lead to greater collaboration within the library and between librarians and campus partners