Criss Library conducted the ClimateQUAL survey during the 2009 fall semester. The library had been experiencing numerous changes due to a three year library renovation, several personnel resignations and library reorganizations. There was an over-riding perception of mistrust, fear and uncertainty that needed to be addressed. Our first step in addressing the negative perceptions was to run the ClimateQUAL survey to gather statistics for a better understanding of staff perceptions. Our next step was to report on the ClimateQUAL data to the library staff and start discussions on goals and solutions for addressing the organization climate. The third step was to identify the areas of the organization to address first. Once those organizational areas were identified, they were prioritized and goals with solutions were developed.
Due to the negative perceptions and climate of mistrust, we wanted a way to offer an open, comfortable line of communication so library staff felt free to express opinions and offer ideas for solutions. We found the answer to anonymous expression of opinion by using thinkLets, ways for people to use a pattern language for reasoning toward a goal, developed at the UNO Institute of Collaboration Science. The group support system (gss) software was loaded on computers and the library staff was divided into groups where each individual in the group added their comments and ideas to their computer anonymously. Using thinkLets and the gss software in the facilitated discussions allowed each participant the freedom to openly express opinions, comments and ideas and led to a consensus of prioritizing problems and solutions with goals and timelines.
This paper will discuss the process that the Criss Library has been through from the ClimateQUAL survey, the facilitated discussions using thinkLets and the strategies for improvement.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/audrey_defrank/5/