Process mapping as an academic library tool: Five steps to improve your workflow

Natalie Ornat, Renee Moorefield

Abstract

The academic library is a complex organization whose staff executes numerous processes each day to deliver materials and services in a timely manner to patrons. A process where tasks, information, or documents are passed from one participant to the next is called a workflow. Libraries use workflows to coordinate tasks between people and departments and create an efficient progress of work. Interlibrary loan shipping, electronic serials acquisition, damaged item repairing, and reference desk referrals are just some of the hundreds of workflows within the academic library. When diagrammed, these workflows provide valuable information in visual form regarding the path a process takes throughout a library. Diagramming workflows is known as process mapping.

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Copyright Natalie Ornat, Renee Moorefield

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