Accidental Project Management in a New Library Storage Facility

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Hackman, T. & Loebe, M. (2018). Accidental Project Management in a New Library Storage Facility. In Alice L. Daugherty (Ed.), Project Management in the Library Workplace (pp.) Bingley, U.K.: Emerald.


This chapter will discuss the project to investigate, recommend, and create user-focused solutions for opening and operating Severn Library, a high-density storage facility, at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD. The chapter takes the case study approach, discussing the practical application of project management techniques to various stages of a large-scale project to plan for a high-density storage facility. Although the Severn Library project began with a large project team, lack of formal project management expertise and the massive nature of the project led to its breakdown into smaller constituent projects, with the two authors filling the roles of “accidental project managers” to complete the work on time. Although this approach was ultimately successful, the overall success of the project could have been improved through more formal application of project management techniques. This chapter will be valuable to library managers interested in project management techniques in libraries, and/or in planning for high-density library storage facilities.