The University of South Australia Library is on the cusp of a radical change to the way it delivers inquiry services. The Library is reconceptualising its traditional face to face, fixed point service into a blend of virtual and on demand services to ensure that students both on and off campus are fully supported. UniSA Library is taking the bold step of abandoning the fixed service desk and replacing it with a range of new service modes.
Over the last few years enquiries to service desks at all campuses have decreased dramatically due to improved systems, better online access, and self-service options. Staff and students expect choice in the way they interact with the Library. In 2016 the service desk in each Library will be replaced with diverse modes of advice and assistance, such as proactive chat, video conferencing, screen sharing, email, telephone and the UniSA Student App.
For the UniSA Library to be in a position to make significant changes to long standing services a particular environment needed to be created. To create the conditions conducive to the proposed change certain preconditions needed to be met: collections had to move from predominantly print to predominantly electronic, staffing skills and levels needed to be adjusted for a changed workplace, innovative technology had to be available, policies supportive of the change implemented, physical spaces in our libraries reworked and University support of online learning increased.
This paper will describe the process of service transformation the Library began in 2011 with the creation of its Digital Strategy and how this created a framework supportive of further significant change. Progress towards implementation of UniSA Library’s new service inquiry model will be shared. Steps and milestones achieved along the way including results of staff and student surveys will be presented.
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