Deepening the Conversation

thinking about questions of authority, technology, learning, and 2.0 in academic libraries


Who shapes culture for the future?

One of last year’s LOEX sessions ended with a Q&A that centered on librarians judging their directors harshly and how directors aren’t being very transparent or inspiring of the line librarians reporting to them. That conversation has stayed with me, and I’ve spent a lot of energy and time over the last year pondering  the roles and responsibilities of library directors, Deans, and other high level administrators. I’ve also been looking at a lot of Administrative changes in the past year — a new job (new Unit Head, and anew structure which includes a Library Dean/UL), the Director at my former place of work announcing her retirement, a colleague being raised up in her place, and now an imminent transitioning of my current unit head, — leadership in all its flavors has been on my mind a lot.

If you ice that cupcake cake with the knowing that I’ve been reading strategic plans to analyze for SWOTS identified therein (for my Marketing class…) and filter all that through the byzantine maze that is my inner workings, you find me asking one question:  How does/how should organizational culture fit into the responsibilities and visi0ns of high level administrators?

I’m sure it does fit, but I’m not sure I’m seeing how it is being positively and actively shaped from on high. I’m also left wondering if my own sense of what a healthy, dynamic, vibrant, organizational culture looks like might be very different that the optimal culture as seen from the Administration offices.

That LOEX session urged more transparency and charitable viewing of what directors do, so it’s in that vein that I am posing this question — do you see your Dean, Director, Unit Head, University Librarian, as having a role in creating, developing, changing or sustaining organizational culture? In what ways? Do you see them taking on active roles in shaping it? If so, how? If you are an administrator, how do you deal with this? Help me see it!