Evolve as a Learning Organization

Looking for information from previous years? Check out past highlights below!

As an organization, the Library is committed to employee growth and development. 2017 saw us continue our efforts in ongoing employee training, including again hosting our Leader in Residence program, adding a Researcher in Residence Program, organizing a second “Culture Crawl” day, and conducting an internal work preferences survey in preparation for appropriate staffing to support the opening of the Teaching and Learning Centre in 2018.

Most importantly, however, the Library launched and socialized its revitalized Mission, Vision, and Values (MVV), developed based on a consultation process with employees, stakeholders, and partners.


UBC Okanagan Library is an inclusive place, a service-focused team, and a nexus1 of scholarly engagement.

The words in the grey boxes are not part of our actual mission statement – they’re the values and phrases that resonated with UBC Okanagan Library employees and stakeholders in a combination of survey and focus group consultation that were conducted as we developed it. The proposed mission statement tries to capture their spirit in a format that’s brief and easy to understand.

1 Nexus: A bond, link, or junction; a means of connection between things or parts. A central point or point of convergence; a focus; a meeting-place. (Oxford English Dictionary, www.oed.com)


Lead by example. Empower by design.

As we crafted our vision, we realized that most of our constituents preferred something that was short but not too vague, abstract, or exclusive. We hope that our vision statement inspires with language that’s concise and active. Expressing that what we do is “by design” reflects our commitment to thoughtful, intentional, and strategic engagement and decision-making.


Our values define who we are as an organization and flow, in this diagram, from left to right, reflecting the evolution from foundational services, to partnerships and collaborations, to actions and attitudes we hope to encourage in those who work here. As an example, UBC Okanagan Library’s inclusivity is a foundation for collaboration that empowers library employees and users alike.

We look forward to these new perspectives and commitments forming the basis for a 2018 planning cycle, which we hope to initiate following the launch of UBC’s new strategic plan.

As an organization, the Library is committed to employee growth and development. In 2016, we continued to operationalize our aspirational values through the execution of a series of projects in small, cross-functional teams. This initiative contributed to some of the results documented in this report, and included the One Book Kelowna program, a day-long employee “Culture Crawl,” the Leader in Residence program, an ongoing, comprehensive review of Library policies and procedures, and a suite of internal programming designed to encourage imagination and collegiality.

In Fall 2016, the Library began a project to reconsider and revitalize its Mission, Vision, and Values (MVV). A consultation process was undertaken with employees, stakeholders, and partners, and a draft completed in December. In early 2017 this draft, and the story of its evolution, will be shared for feedback prior to adoption. The goal for the strategic planning cycle that will initiate in 2017 is to establish and engage more agile planning processes that are based on the organizational MVV. We believe this will increase our Library’s ability to respond quickly to feedback, and invite creativity, leadership, and entrepreneurial spirit in our employees, characteristics of our campus Library culture and successes which were universally identified, admired, and encouraged during our consultations with faculty, staff, and external collaborators.

“The library has always been and continues to be a welcoming and helpful place. The staff come across as genuinely concerned with helping me do my work and take their role seriously in facilitating access to the resources I need.”
– Faculty member, Education

As an organization, the Library is committed to employee growth and development. In 2014-15, we strove to operationalize our aspirational values through the execution of a series of projects in small, cross-functional teams. This initiative resulted in incredible results, including the One Book program, an employee conference, the international welcome wall created on the main floor of the Library, and a series of internal programming designed to encourage creativity and collegiality. In 2016-17, we look forward to new projects – all of which were suggested by members of our Library team – including renewal of the Leader in Residence program, employee conference and One Book program, as well as creation of an employee recognition program and learner’s exchange, and a comprehensive policy and procedure review. Execution of this programming increases the capacity of our unit and provides a variety of skills and professional development opportunities, including experience with managing projects and teams and developing budgets. It also contributes to an organizational culture of assessment, shared governance, and evidence-based decision-making as we build on prior experience to inform future directions.

Over the past year, the Library has undergone a period of significant change, with the introduction of a new Chief Librarian, Deputy Chief Librarian, and several new staff members. As a result, there has been significant focus on realigning internal processes, including:

  • development of a new internal communications plan;
  • design of a professional development framework;
  • collective restructuring of librarian portfolios; and
  • creation of shared aspirational values for the organization.

Significant progress was made toward each of these goals in 2013-14.