Document Type

Conference Presentation

Conference Title

17th International Research Conference, Dilemmas for Human Services 2014


London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine


London, England

Conference Dates

September 10-12, 2014

Date of Presentation



Developments in information technology have produced enormous changes for many professions. This leads to dilemmas, i.e., situations where professionals have to make difficult choices. Difficulties often arise because information technology implementations both require and enable new ways of acting. Such changes may be neither desired nor welcomed.

Organizational dilemmas are now commonplace in academic libraries worldwide. Traditional library roles have been irreversibly altered by technology-enabled information search and retrieval systems. Coincidental with the evolution of the Internet and Google, these systems have transformed both library services and user workflows.

These contemporary leadership dilemmas have been addressed for over a decade in three North American academic libraries. In response, an inclusive and systemic leadership model, the Informed Systems Methodology, places an explicit emphasis on using information to learn within the workplace. The methodology incorporates ‘soft’ systems design tools to guide co-creation of communication systems and professional practices that enable information sharing and knowledge creation among co-workers.

The Informed Systems Methodology fosters principles of systems thinking and Informed Learning which catalyst holistic learning processes. In combination, co-designed systems, processes, and practices are co-created to engage individuals and groups in raising awareness, furthering collective understanding, promoting shared vision, and realizing shared leadership opportunities.