UMMS Affiliation

Lamar Soutter Library

Publication Date


Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Libraries, Medical; Library buildings; Team librarianship; Teams in the workplace; Project management


Library and Information Science


Purpose: This poster will present the benefits of using a team approach to managing a library renovation project, from the initial planning phase to completion and follow-up.

Setting/Participants/Resources: The library is a mid-size academic health sciences library. The library occupies 41,000 square feet within the medical school and employs forty-one full time employees. The library has been using a team-based approach to operational problem solving since 1989.

Brief Description: By the mid-’90s, the library was in desperate need of a face-lift and updating to accommodate the current advances in technology. In 1998, the first team was formed to look at the condition of the library and recommend both short term and long-term improvements. Four years and six teams later, the library has undergone a complete renovation with new furniture, paint, and carpet and an improved layout that accommodates the electronic access needs of our patrons.

Results/Outcome: Having staff members from every department involved in all of the various teams allowed each department’s specific needs to be considered during each step of the project. Involving library staff in the decision-making process resulted in staff buy-in to the project and has given staff a sense of ownership for the “new” library.

Evaluation: The library renovation was successful on two levels; it improved the physical space by providing patrons with more seating options, better lighting, and increased accessibility to the library’s collection and resources. The renovation also provided staff with work areas that are centralized by department and a more open work environment that is conducive to collaboration. The renovation was also successful because the team-based approach to its management made faculty, staff, and students feel like they were included in the decision-making process throughout the project. This feeling is reflected in the new sense of pride in the library and interest in its upkeep shown by all faculty, staff, and students.

Presented at the Medical Library Association Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, May 4, 2003.


Library renovation

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Medical Library Association Annual Meeting

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.