Co-dependency of Re-organizing & Re-focusing Libraries


Credit: keetra dean dixon @

by Valerie Ridgway.

Thank you, Val, for creating this blog post. For those of you who may not know Val, she was formerly Deputy CEO at Pickering Public Library and is an expert in terms of HR practices, policies and management. During the past 15 years she has developed the initial collective agreements for large public libraries, created their staffing competencies and can write role descriptions in her sleep. I’ve had the absolute honour of working with Val on three organizational structuring projects for progressive public libraries who know they must align their organization and roles with their strategies if they ever hope to execute those strategies. In other words, Val knows her stuff, and is delightfully candid, as demonstrated below:

Ongoing reorganization of library staffing structures and relationships is a fact of contemporary life. Or it should be. Libraries embark on new strategies and exciting initiatives, but the restructuring so critical for implementing these is often deferred, diluted, dreaded, distorted, deserted, and with good reason. Employees en masse, in almost all organizations – not just libraries – are inherently conservative: people will agree that change is needed, but when moving from the general to the specific changes for them as individuals, raise objections and barriers. It’s sometimes very difficult for employees to see the “big picture” driving the changes and, most importantly the WIIFM factor, “what’s in it for me”. Let’s face it, even those employees who exclaim “I love change!” only

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Organizational Change Must-Reads


For those working within or leading change, there’s a wonderful Organizational Change Practitioners group in LinkedIn. Over the past few months people have been posting what they consider the “best books on organizational change.” Here’s the titles I think are absolute musts for those interested in or immersed in organizational change:

Becoming a Practitioner-Researcher: A Gestalt Approach to Holistic Inquiry by Paul Barber.

Productive Workplaces Revisited by Marvin R. Weisbord

Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change by William Bridges

Theory U: Leading From the Future as it Emerges by Otto Scharmer

(Re) (Organize) for Resilience by Ranjay Gulati

Taking Charge of Change by Douglas Smith

Changing the Essense by Richard Beckhard and Wendy Pritchard

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath

Beyond Change Management Advanced Strategies for Today’s Transformational Leaders. By W. J. Rothwell, R. Sullivan, & K. Quade

Practicing Organizational Development – The Change Agent Series for Groups and Organizations Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer

Confessions of a Radical Industrialist by Ray. C. Anderson (watch the Youtube!)

Free Perfect and Now – a CEO’s true story by Robert Rodin