Libraries are in the midst of a significant shift in how they serve their users and communities. The way libraries support research and learning is changing and expanding. Libraries are experimenting with entirely new ways to develop collections and acquire resources. New services are added constantly. In response to this change, library staff are adapting and engaging in exciting new ways as their roles evolve. And yet, the way we manage in libraries has changed very little. While members of the library staff are joining cross-functional teams and working collaboratively across their organizations to develop and enhance services, our
management structures have not similarly evolved to support this work. Library management needs to change along with the rest of the organization, and one strategy that can help libraries be more agile and leverage the expertise and knowledge of their staff to meet user needs is employing the matrix management model.
In matrix management, traditional reporting lines and divisions are eliminated or modified to create a co-management structure that supports collaboration, information and resource sharing, and cross-functional work. Matrix management can help break down silos and reduce organizational inefficiencies. It also can increase cooperation among managers and foster leadership at all levels of the organization.
This panel will explore the experience of one university library that has adopted a matrix management model where managers share responsibility for guiding the work of teams that provide research support and library instruction, engage in collection development, and provide other services related to scholarly communication, open education, and data management. While the work in many of these areas was historically divided by function, with individual managers for each, the desire to work more collaboratively and the need to support our community in new ways led the library to choose a matrix management model with three co-managers who coordinate closely in all areas. This session will cover the benefits of adopting a matrix management structure and its successes. Since matrix management relies on new ways of working that require a high degree of transparency and cooperation, this session will also address challenges and opportunities for improvement. The audience will engage in a dialogue with the panelists that will enable them to consider whether this model is a good fit for their own organizations.
ALA Unit/Subunit: LLAMA
Meeting Type: Program
Cost: Included with full conference registration.