Change management in academic libraries: a case of Kyambogo University Library
Academic libraries are not immune to the rapid advancements in technology, changes in user needs, as well as the need to adapt to changes for effective library services. The study examined change management in academic libraries with reference to Kyambogo University Library. The objectives were to; explore the changes and how they are managed at KYU Library; examine the factors that influence the acceptance or rejection of change at KYU Library; investigate the techniques used in change management at KYU Library; and examine the setbacks (if any) to change management at KYU Library. A case study research design and a qualitative research approach were adopted. The KYU Librarians were the target study population. The study also employed Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and face-to-face interviews methods of data collection, while the instruments were the FGDs guide and an unstructured interview schedule. The study collected qualitative data, which were analyzed thematically based on the themes developed from the research questions. The findings revealed that various changes have been managed at KYU Library over time such as; the merger of the former institutional libraries to form KYU Library, infrastructural changes, the developments in print and electronic resources, technological advancements, and the automation of the traditional card catalogues into Open Public Access Catalogue. The acceptance of changes were based on; the presence and use of the library strategic plan, adoption of technological advancements, availability of funds to support changes, staff training and continuous professional development, and presence of management support, as well as a positive experience with the previous changes. However, resistance of changes were influenced by; lack of policies on change management, lack of funds to support changes, lack of staff training, technophobia, and a negative experience with the previous changes. In addition, various hindrances were reported in regard to change management at KYU Library, such as; a lack of library change management policy, lack of change management plan, lack of funds to support changes, technophobia by some library staff, delayed procurement processes, and limited Internet coverage. The study recommended the development of a library change management policy; establishment Library change management plan; Training of staff on ICTs; lobbying for more funding; improvement of internet coverage on compass and ensuring timely procurement process.