Introduction: Technology, Organizational Change and Virtual Libraries
Ardis Hanson (The Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute at the University of South Florida-Tampa, USA), Bruce Lubotsky Levin (The Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute at the University of South Florida-Tampa, USA) and Susan Heron (University of South Florida, USA)
Copyright: © 2003
Change has become a way of life for most organizations in the 21st century. In order to withstand profound change, an organisation must be flexible and incorporate the ability to adapt and respond to its external environment and its many stakeholders (Kanter, Stein, & Tick, 1992). At the same time, in an era of increasing fiscal constraints, new technologies, and an explosion of information, informatics plays an increasingly important and prominent role in society, in knowledge exchange, in communication, and in commerce between organizations. Accordingly, the most remarkable opportunities and challenges have emerged within academic libraries with regard to the incorporation of technology into daily functioning. Academic libraries only achieve real change when every person, from staff to administrator, is willing to examine functions, strategies, goals, and processes and to participate in free discussions of the critical issues. This chapter examines such a landmark shift in an organization’s operation and culture with the creation of a “virtual library” at an urban university. It will review the planning, development, and implementation process of the virtual library. It will also examine the barriers and successes within the organizational role of a multi-campus, autonomous university library system. The chapter will conclude with a discussion of future issues and opportunities for the role of technology in organizations and organizational change.