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Archive for 05/02/2012

How do librarians view innovation in academic libraries?

Ronald C. Jantz (2012) Innovation in academic libraries: An analysis of university librarians’ perspectives, Library & Information Science Research 34 (2012) 3–12

Through a series of structured interviews, university librarians at six institutions provided their perspectives on innovation in academic libraries. The literature on leadership styles and organizational change provides insight into the roles of these leaders in the innovation process. Leadership was cited by many researchers as being a critical factor for organizations to innovate. University librarians revealed a commitment to innovation, some distinctively nontraditional innovations, and a concern for how to encourage risk-taking behavior. Further insight into the innovation process was sought by interpreting the interview data within a larger theoretical context. Although leadership and management can foster innovation in a library, researchers have reported other factors that can influence the ability to innovate, including organizational aspects – size and complexity – and environmental factors. Beyond the organizational aspects, the individual and the norms of the profession appear to create a framework with certain boundaries, some of which may impact the ability to innovate.

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