Date of this Version
Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship (Summer 2005) 6(1-2). Also available at http://southernlibrarianship.icaap.org/content/v06n01/baird_l01.htm.
Librarians are change agents, working in an environment that requires us to be both leading and chasing change. We lead change when we create programs to meet our institutional needs based upon our knowledge of our students and faculty, available resources, and our awareness of the potential for what might be. We chase change when institutional priorities shift suddenly, in response to external forces such as funding or politics, or as a result of leadership transitions. Change can be invigorating for us as it keeps the creative juices flowing. Conversely, it can be exhausting when we feel as though we have lost control of the direction of the institution or if change is not perceived as a process that will enhance the future. Change that happens to us can deplete us, robbing us of our original professional passion that brought us to the field, unless we are permitted to participate in its implementation. Leadership can be the determining factor in our relationship to change. Leadership provides the context for transforming an organization and establishes how individuals can be involved in the process.