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Library Workflow Redesign: Six Case Studies

pub cover

Marilyn Mitchell, editor
January 2007

Copyright 2007 by the Council on Library and Information Resources. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transcribed in any form without permission of the publishers. Requests for reproduction or other uses or questions pertaining to permissions should be submitted in writing to the Director of Communications at the Council on Library and Information Resources.

About the Authors


Library Workflow Redesign: Concepts and Results, Marilyn Mitchell

New Techniques in Library Technical Services at the Appalachian College Association, Anne Chase and Tony Krug

Reference and Information Services Redesign at The Libraries of The Claremont Colleges, Linda Gunter and Cindy Snyder

Technical Services Work Redesign across Two Libraries; Cooperative Work Redesign in Library Technical Services: Denison University and Kenyon College, Debra K. Andreadis, Christopher D. Barth, Lynn Scott Cochrane, and Karen E. Greever

Increasing Productivity through Workflow Redesign at Smith College, Christopher B. Loring

Managing Electronic Resources in the Tri-College Consortium, Norm Medeiros

Redesigning Services at The Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc., Loretta Parham and Carolyn Hart

Supplemental Information to Case Studies

Appalachian College Association

Click on the links below to download individual documents or click here to download all of the documents for this institution in one package. Documents are PDFs.

The Libraries of The Claremont Colleges
Click on the links below to download individual documents or click here to download all of the documents for this institution in one package. Documents are PDFs.

  1. Claremont Model for Information and Research Services Redesign
  2. Claremont Training Module Possibilities
  3. Claremont Model for Information & Research Services Redesign, Progress Report 6/14/05
  4. Claremont Initial Student Survey
  5. Initial Student Survey Findings, Dec. 6, 2004
  6. Claremont Focus Group Findings, Dec. 6, 2004
  7. Honnold Mudd Library All-Staff Survey Findings, Aug. 22, 2005
  8. User Survey, December 2005

The Robert W. Woodruff Library
Click on the links below to download individual documents or click here to download all of the documents for this institution in one package. Documents are PDFs.

About the Authors

Marilyn Mitchell was library director at the University of Puget Sound from 1990 until her retirement in 2003. During her tenure, the library assumed a leadership role in campus technology and organizational change. She managed a major renovation project designed to promote maximum opportunities for workflow redesign and staff redeployment. She also chaired the Orbis Consortium (now the Orbis Cascade Alliance). Prior positions included assistant director for collection and automation services and assistant director for technical services at the Auraria Library, an innovative library serving the University of Colorado at Denver, the Metropolitan State College of Denver, and the Community College of Denver. She has a B.A. degree in history from Occidental College and an M.L.S degree from the University of Texas.

Appalachian College Association

Anne Chase is director of library services at Berea College, one of six “work colleges” in the United States. Previous positions include director of the library at Lamar University-Orange in Texas, where she established the institution’s first library; head of public services at the University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji Islands; and director of library and computer services at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio. Ms. Chase has been an active member of the Appalachian College Association Central Library since its founding.

Tony Krug is director of the Appalachian College Association’s William G. Bowen Central Library of Appalachia. His work is based on nearly 40 years of library experience, most recently at Carson-Newman College, where he served as dean of library services from 1997 to 2002, and at Bethany College, where he was director of information services from 1988 until 1997. Before that, he served at Maryville University-St. Louis as director of libraries, and at Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel, Illinois, as associate dean of instruction for learning resources. His administrative library career began at the Olney Carnegie Public Library in Illinois, after library experience in various capacities at Indiana State University in Terre Haute. He has published numerous articles on the uses of technology in libraries and has consulted for libraries in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand. He holds B.S. and M.L.S. degrees from Indiana State University and a Ph.D. degree from Southern Illinois University.

The Libraries of The Claremont Colleges

Linda Gunter is head of access services and a reference librarian at the Libraries of The Claremont Colleges. She was a member of the reference redesign team, working to enhance and streamline services for the libraries’ users. She has held librarian positions in reference and cataloging at three other academic libraries.

Cindy Snyder is the services desk manager and a reference and instruction librarian at the Honnold/Mudd Library of The Claremont Colleges. She was project manager of the reference redesign team, which over the course of two years investigated innovative and efficient ways to provide reference and information services to the users at The Claremont Colleges.

Denison University/Kenyon College

Debra Andreadis is science liaison and technical support librarian at Denison University. She was a member of the task force created to plan and implement the work redesign project at Denison and at Kenyon College. She received M.S. degrees in ecology and in information sciences from the University of Tennessee.

Christopher Barth is executive director of library and information services and chief information officer at Luther College. He has also served as director of information resources, as librarian and technology consultant, and as instructor of history at Kenyon College. Among his areas of interest are implementation and evolution of merged library and information technology organizations, and the role of the Web and of library access tools in redefining information use and delivery. He holds an M.L.I.S. degree and M.A. degree in history from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a B.A. degree in history from Kenyon College.

Lynn Scott Cochrane has been director of libraries at Denison University since 2000. She has 35 years’ experience in academic libraries in six institutions, including Penn State, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech, and Marymount University. Her library expertise includes planning, assessment, consortial collaborations, team building, and leadership development. She was an adjunct professor at the Catholic University of America’s School of Library and Information Science between 1994 and 1996. An active member of several professional organizations, she has chaired the Association of College and Research Libraries’ College Library Section and been president of the Virginia Library Association. She writes and speaks about the National Archives’ presidential library system. She received a Ph.D. degree in public administration and policy from Virginia Tech.

Karen E. Greever has been collection development librarian at Kenyon College since January 2006. Before that, she was technical services librarian at Kenyon for four years and acquisitions/serials librarian for three years. Before her arrival at Kenyon, she was an authority control/catalog management librarian at Ball State University for five years and a catalog librarian for one year. She received her M.S.L.S degree from the University of Kentucky. She has been a guest speaker for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Information Studies. She has written and spoken about acquisitions and cataloging workflow and processes, authority control, and collaborative collection development.

Smith College

Christopher Loring is director of libraries at Smith College. Shortly after his arrival at Smith, he engaged the libraries in a strategic planning process that has led to greater emphasis on the use of new technologies, a programmatic effort to incorporate information literacy into Smith’s open curriculum, and the creation of library spaces that are more responsive to student needs. Before coming to Smith in 2000, he held a variety of positions at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Libraries, including head of interlibrary loan, head of access services, and team leader for reference and consultation services. He holds an M.L.S degree and a master’s degree in classical archaeology from the University of Minnesota.

Tri-College Consortium

Norm Medeiros is associate librarian of the college at Haverford College in Pennsylvania, where he oversees technical services, coordinates the library’s digital initiatives, and serves as economics bibliographer. He has published widely in the area of electronic resources management, most recently House of Horrors: Exorcising Electronic Resources, which appeared in Managing Electronic Resources: Contemporary Problems and Emerging Issues (Chicago: American Library Association, 2006). Mr. Medeiros is an editorial board member of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services’ quarterly journal, Library Resources & Technical Services, and U.S. editor of E-LIS, the international open archive of library and information science. He is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Library and Information Studies.

Robert W. Woodruff Library of Atlanta University Center

Carolyn Hart is assistant director of planning and assessment at the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center. She works closely with Woodruff’s chief executive officer and library director in strategy development and assessment initiatives for the library. Hart previously managed the Dow Jones Resource Center as business librarian. More recently, she served as head of information and research services at that organization, overseeing such service areas as instruction, reference, orientation, curriculum materials, circulation and interlibrary loan, and the business resource center. An alumna of the Frye Leadership Institute and the Harvard Leadership Institute, Hart is a member of the American Library Association and the Association of College and Research Libraries.

Loretta Parham is chief executive officer and library director of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center. Before assuming her current position, she served as director and university librarian for the Harvey Library at Hampton University, where she managed both the university library and three satellite branches. Her more than 30 years’ experience in the library profession includes serving as deputy director of the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh, and as a district chief of the Chicago Public Library. Parham was named a “Mover & Shaker for 2004” by Library Journal. She has written articles on Historically Black Colleges and University (HBCU) libraries and is coeditor of Achieving Diversity: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians. She is an alumna of the Frye Institute, the Harvard Leadership Institute, and Leadership Pittsburgh, and is an active member of the Association of College and Research Libraries and the American Library Association, having chaired and served on numerous association committees.


The proliferation of electronic information and tools has changed the way that readers and researchers do their work. It has also changed the way library staff members provide materials and services. Several years ago a group of liberal arts college librarians, realizing the need to streamline processes to serve changing needs, asked CLIR to help.

With support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we offered workflow redesign support to teams from six institutions that are part of consortia. We asked them to give us descriptions of their work, thinking that a publication on how some library staffs are changing their work patterns might be useful to other libraries that are undergoing the same kinds of changes. This monograph is the result of their work. These institutions were pioneers. Now the issue of workflow redesign appears to be on the minds not only of librarians in small institutions, but also of many librarians in research libraries. We hope that this publication can be the beginning of describing changing work patterns, and that it can be followed by additional publications, both in print and through the CLIR Web site, on imaginative ways of providing good services in a shifting environment.

Susan L. Perry
Director of Programs

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