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Pursuing the Three Ts: How Total Quality Management, Technology, and Teams Transformed the Cataloging Department at Penn State

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SUMMARY : Beginning in 1992 the University Libraries at the Pennsylvania State University embarked on a program to formally transform its organization following the principles of Continuous Quality Improvement, or, as it is more commonly known, Total Quality Management. The process by which the Cataloging Department underwent reorganization into teams is described, as well as its strategic use of computing technology in rationalizing and streamlining its workflows. In creating an organizational restructuring that permitted a more rapid and flexible response to new assignments and changing conditions, the Cataloging Department positioned itself to effectively assume new responsibilities as emerging formats and other library materials were acquired or made accessible to library patrons. The essay concludes with a frank assessment of the lessons learned in undergoing reorganization, as well as weighing the successes and failures experienced by the Cataloging Department


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