In 2015, Library and Learning Services at the University of Northampton implemented a new library management system. The transition to a new system was a crucial step towards ensuring that the service LLS offers is in accordance with the changing academic landscape – one becoming increasingly digitised – but also with the University’s strategy of innovative progression through forms of electronic delivery. It was a substantial project involving a year’s assessment of new systems, and would necessitate a radical transformation of the current system and working practices. Once the new system was decided on the project was speedily implemented over a six month period, from February 2015, to it going live on 1st August 2015.
This research project investigates both the perspectives of and the effects on staff that such a radical change of system, and working practices, may have generated during the pre and post implementation of the new LMS. Most research on organizational change has been conducted from a management, or project manager’s perspective. This study adds to the limited research on the psychology of change from employees’ perspectives (Oreg et al. 2013), and focuses on the ground up. It interrogates the opinions, thoughts and emotions of frontline staff and those who have had to negotiate the operational differences, the changing functionality, new procedures and workflows that the new system requires.
The project considers three aspects that have affected staff: communication; training and support. The aim of this research is to highlight both what was done well, and what could be improved in relation to the staffs’ experience of such radical change. Thus, the hope is to inform future projects, not just within the University of Northampton, but in the wider sector.