A Devil of a Challenge – Introduction of RFID Technology

ALIA Library

Armistead, Claire; Bolam, Alicia; Rostenne, Simone

Some would say living in North Queensland with 90% humidity, raging cyclones, swimming with deadly jellyfish and crocodiles is challenging, yet this is nothing compared to leading staff through major cultural, operational and organisational change.
CityLibraries Townsville made the decision in 2012 to join the 170+ libraries across Australia and New Zealand to liberate ourselves from out dated technology and implement RFID. Evolving with the times staff were destined for a 100% self-service model accompanied by a transitional period of uncertainty and culture shock. What did this mean for us? A bumpy road where the leadership team worked tirelessly to support library staff in the movement from a role defined by transactions to a role centred on interactions with customers.
How did we manage and cope with this? Forget the managers’ perspective, this paper will tell you what it’s really like leading front line staff through the challenging and opportunistic transformation whilst keeping morale high and the library functioning beyond its current capability. For the customers it would be a game changer, with a proven record for enhancing the service to maximise productivity gains resulting in staff having time to assist with the rapid growth in demand for digital technology and the delivery of more services and programs to the community. Leading by example required each and every one of us to commit to new behaviours and new habits for the transition to 100% self-service. As Team Leaders, we were the first port of call for concerns from the front line staff proving that we as Library and Information Technicians more than ever must be the “devil” to tame the beasts and lead staff through an ever changing and demanding world in libraries.

Deakin, ACT: Australian Library and Information Association