Case Study: You Can’t Please Everyone All The Time
Mending Relationships Between Librarians and Library Technicians
Organizational Context
The Beginning
The Solution
The Dilemma
Questions For Discussion
Key Learning Points

The Dilemma - The Aftermath of the Quarterly Meeting

I sat there, dumbfounded, in my chair at the head of the conference room table. My circulation manager had commented that the library technicians would unanimously support my proposal. However, both my public and technical services librarians had just walked out of my first senior staff meeting. I thought I had made a step in the right direction towards solving the longstanding problem of lack of mutual respect between the librarians and library technicians by opening up the professional development budget to all staff members, but I think I might have set the process back even further. My plan had potential on paper, yet did not go over well with the librarians, and may cause further ill feelings towards the library technicians. I needed to remedy this issue before my talented, yet disgruntled staff walked out of the library permanently, but I did not know what else to do.

Case study written by Lisa Shamchuk for LIS 504 (Leadership and Management Principles for Library and Information Services). Wordle created and website coded for LIS 600 (Capping Exercise), as part of the Master of Library and Information Studies program at the University of Alberta. Modified February 27, 2010.