42 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 294 2018 to library leadership. Using the information uncovered by the librarian discussions, in early 2015 the university librarian and the associate university librarians made the decision to form a new functional structure consisting of a Teaching and Learning Department and a Research Services Department. Library leadership believed that the functional structure would best address the need to focus on areas of new expertise and services in a reality of constrained staffing. The structure would eliminate unnecessary duplication of expertise and services between two departments that had been providing similar and parallel services. Certainly any structure requires coordination regarding disciplinary expertise, however, the specific focus on teaching and research goals in the Strategic Plan made the choice clear. Additionally, a functional model allows for more targeted skill development for librarians working in these units historically, one challenge of subject specialist models has been divided attention between disparate responsibilities. The functional model would allow for focused expertise-building. Finally, subject specialist duties were not equally allocated throughout the discipline-based model some reference librarians liaised to two departments with a handful of faculty, while others worked with multiple departments, containing hundreds of faculty. A functional model would allow for a redistribution of responsibilities, with a goal of more equal responsibilities. Coincidentally, the UCR Library had two vacant department head positions, so after a delay (unrelated to the reorganization process itself ), two job announcements were created for a director of Teaching and Learning and for a director of Research Services. Frenkel was clear that the actual forming and implementation of the model must be done collaboratively with the two positions hired and in place since the relationship between the two departments would require a certain amount of interdependence. Interestingly, the unanticipated length of time between the initial planning discussions in 2014 and the actual “boots on the ground” in May 2017 had the beneficial result of a fuller
Previous Page Next Page