Knotworking in Academic Libraries: Two Case Studies from the University of Helsinki

Yrjö Engeström, Heli Kaatrakoski, Pälvi Kaiponen, Johanna Lahikainen, Anne Laitinen, Heli Myllys, Juhana Rantavuori, Kaisa Sinikara

Abstract


Librarians in academic libraries are facing major changes in their work due to, e.g., the internet, digitization, and increasing use of new channels for information retrieval by their most important clients, namely researchers. This creates challenges for librarians: both to deepen their own expertise and to develop innovative service models for their clients. In this paper we present a development project entitled ‘Knotworking in the Library’ from the Helsinki University Library. The project made use of the Change Laboratory method, which is an intensive developmental effort which facilitates improvements in the activities of organizations and changes in the organizational culture. The process started in Viikki Campus Library in 2009–2010 and continued in the City Centre Campus Library in 2010–2011. The aim was to create new kinds of partnership between libraries and research groups in the form of knotworking. By knotworking we mean a boundary-crossing, collective problem-solving way of organizing work. The knotworking model presented in this paper generated practical tools to assist selected research groups in dealing with data management related-issues.

Keywords


Knotworking; Change Laboratory; service innovation; research data management

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