A University of Puerto Rico Project Redefining Library Practice: Collective Experience

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This exposition is a case study about the results of the development of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Libraries Community of Practice. The research findings documented shoes what has been the contribution of communities of practice to improving operational performance and services of academic libraries in the UPR System in the areas of collection development, information literacy, research support, strategic leadership and Web 2.0. In addition, it researches which are the elements that contributed to determine the success of communities of practice in the UPR and the influence to generate mentors. Another important aspect of the research is the identification of the use of appropriate mechanisms for the capture and organization of knowledge created by communities. The exposition demonstrates the benefit of those communities of practice as it affects their performance due to their potential to overcome the inherent problems of a slow-moving traditional hierarchy in a fast-moving virtual economy. The evidence shows how the communities also appear to be effective ways for organizations to handle unstructured problems and to share knowledge outside of the traditional structural boundaries. In addition, is acknowledged to be a means of developing and maintaining long-term organizational memory. As knowledge is generated as a result of this study, we expect significant contributions to needed changes regarding academic and research leadership. This will influence the way our libraries are organized, diversifies problem-solving styles and manages opening opportunities to a more inclusive model. Demonstrated infusion of Web 2.0 technologies and virtual worlds in the provision of innovative services is also expected to increase. Knowledge management strategies which have been implemented in the project will also yield important learning for our library directors as they seek ways to apply them to their units.


Keywords: Community of Practice, Academic Libraries, Organizational Change, Learning Organization, Organization Knowledge
Stream: Organisational Learning, Organisational Change
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Jose Sanchez

Associate Professor, Graduate School of Information Science and Technologies, University of Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Associate Professor of Graduate School of Information Science and Technologies at University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras and Coordinator of the UPR Libraries Community of Practice Project and Project Director of Distance Learning Program for Science and Mathematics Teachers.

Dra. Julia Velez

Director, Center of Information and Technology, Natural Science College
Rio Piedras Campus, University Of Rio Piedras

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Director, Information and Technology Center at Natural Science College in University of Puerto Rico, part-time Professor of Graduate School of Information Science and Technologies at University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, Coordinator of UPR Libraries Evaluation and Co-Coordinator of the UPR Libraries Community of Practice Project.

Ref: L09P1599