41 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 291 2017 as an entity or organization, “thinking about organizational culture therefore involves recognizing the inseparability of binaries—together and apart, general and unique, structures and agents, organizations and identities—in sum, organizational culture as a constraint and as an everyday accomplishment.”8 Diversity both within and between departments and positions is critical, as colleagues rely on one another individually and collectively for their respective areas of expertise and experience. Further, it is intrinsic to a collaborative model to distinguish varying cultures, identities, and structures with siloed work, services, and collections, because having divisions, departments, or other types of organization in staffing provides structure. It is vital to recognize that within all libraries, there is a centralized, overarching goal: that the library exists to serve their constituents. The vision and approach of each department on how to achieve the overarching goal may differ, but it is the responsibility of each group to determine how to work integratively among departmental (micro) cultures and the whole library (macro) cultures. By creating an environment that is flexible and culturally accepting of experimentation, new avenues of collaboration and cross-training can take place. The organizational culture of an institution can either foster experimentation and innovation, or in turn, it might work against those principles through continued siloing of expertise and compartmentalizing of departments, collections, or services. It is noted that “unlike hierarchical bureaucracies, the ability to innovate is most frequently associated with an open, entrepreneurial mind-set in an organization.”9 Anytime innovative projects are implemented, there is always a risk of them not working out. Cultivating a culture open to innovation needs to happen across departments, not only with top-down approval but horizontally in departmental and individual librarian practices. “For librarians…to risk that possible failure, there must be a culture where they first feel valued, secure and respected.”10 By creating an environment that is flexible and cultural- ly accepting of experimenta- tion, new avenues of collab- oration and cross-training can take place.
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