Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version



Urton, Ellen R., Meagan J. Duever, Casey D. Hoeve, Jenny K. Oleen, Livia Olsen, and David Vail. “Leveraging Library Ecology: Growing Beyond Boundaries to Cultivate a Sustainable Knowledge Community Through Team-Based Librarianship.” Creating Sustainable Community: The Proceedings of the ACRL 2015 Conference, March 25–28, Portland, Oregon. Ed. Dawn M. Mueller. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, 2015.


Higher education increasingly challenges libraries to thrive while adapting to fiscal realities, imploring institutions to accomplish more with less, and leverage assets creatively. When competing demands vie for attention, interdisciplinary concepts such as sustainability may be neglected, or simply absent from a library’s mission. A team-based community of librarians can galvanize existing assets wherever they reside within an organization. This approach requires that librarians transcend traditional boundaries to reveal untapped or underutilized expertise. Interdepartmental teams within a library can address topics difficult to assign to one designated specialist, and access the education, interests, or networks possessed by multiple individuals across an organization. A matrix model addressing this concept has been administered at K-State Libraries, and the following paper provides expanded insight into how such concepts have been handled within the organization.