Management: A Community of Collaboration

Andie Craley


Most of us are familiar with the scenario of institutional belt-tightening and the effect that it sometimes has on staffing. Reductions and reallocations of human resources can make it difficult to accomplish our work and can affect morale—but not always. In this column, Andie Craley describes the net positives of that experience at her institution. While still facing the reality of doing more with less, Craley identifies how its inherent challenges can present definite opportunities and foster a community of collaboration.—Editor

Having started as a library technician at Harford Community College Library (HCC Library) just seventeen years ago, I already find myself the third in seniority. Library staff size seems to diminish as additional job functions are assimilated into existing positions, reallocated as new library services are introduced, redeployed to other departments, or completely eliminated as staff retire or resign. The concept of wearing many hats is common, as is the expectation to take on “other duties as assigned.” From networking with colleagues at other Maryland community college libraries, I know this situation is not unique. The current staffing reality both mirrors the evolution of the library’s facilities and demands doing more with less, but it also provides individual and collective opportunities for growth, supporting a community of collaboration.

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