Management in Libraries sample essay

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Economic threat to the libraries by escalation of books and journals, fewer resources, constant growth changes in technology and user high expectation have shown that management is the critical factor that determines efficiency and effectiveness of all types of libraries. Thus managers are expected to play different functions in order to be effective and efficient. In this assignment different functions and roles played by managers in different libraries are discussed showing how they improve efficiency and effectiveness and different laws of library management are discussed.

DEFINITION OF TERMS Management Effectiveness defined by Bateman, T is “doing things right”. This means that the manager has the responsibility for selecting the right goals and appropriate means to achieving it. Efficiency is measuring the cost of attaining a given goal, concerned about how resources such as money, time, equipment, personnel obtain given goals. Thus a manager needs to be effective and efficient in order to achieve the goals of the library.


Library management comprise more than just making changes, it involves managing ongoing operations in the optimal fashion for your institution in the context of its goals, other department’s activities and patrons needs. Thus we realize that different libraries may require managerial different managerial skills in order to perform their duties effectively. Managers help in giving direction to the library showing where it is going. Library management involves planning, organizing, leading and controlling. Planning is about systematical making decisions about the library goals.

In planning the manager defines the objectives the objectives of the library, stating the purpose of its existence, defining the user community and their information needs. This is important as it facilitates efficiency. It helps in understanding the library stakeholders. A public library is an omnibus organization. It carters for everyone in the community thus the need for every user must be known and fulfilled. A public library serves a diverse community of adults, children and teens thus a manager has to plan on resources to be acquired.

A manager can plan on different resources that can be acquired ranging from entertainment, fiction, nonfiction for general research, children story books because there are no specific users, the resources must benefit everyone in the society. A manager also organize and coordinate human, financial , physical, informational and other resources needed to achieve library goals. The manager establishes the activity authority relationship of the library. The activities necessary to achieve the objectives are then grouped into working divisions, departments and grouped together.

In an academic library a manager can group together activities like accession and cataloguing The manager has to establish standards for performance; this will make sure that the library is performing in such a way as to arrive at its destination. According to Griffin “controlling helps to ensure effective and efficiency needed for successful management” As a leader the manager is responsible for staffing which is concerned with allocating prospective employees to fulfill the jobs created by organizing process.

It involves the process of reviewing the credentials of the candidates of the jobs and trying to match the job demand with the application s abilities keeping each employee qualified. It also involves the development and implementation of a system for appraising performance and providing feedback for performance improvement. In a special library where the main target is a specific audience, for example ZIMRA library its serves the ZIMRA staff and mainly the manager have to recruit someone who posses research skills because mainly it deals with research for its company.

The manager is responsible for choosing the right candidate, who knows how to research, even on the internet where there is information overload the candidate must be able to extract relevant information using the right search engine, mainly in a special library every one depend on the information provided by the librarian. The manager is also responsible for keeping the librarian qualified for the job by providing ongoing training since the librarianship profession is dynamic thus this will improve effectiveness and efficiency of libraries.

A manager also gives s direction that will help the library in achieving its goals. Directing builds a climate, provides leadership and arranges the opportunity for motivation this is further explained by Rachel’s laws of library management, it says save time of your staff. This means that the staff must be given support they need for them to achieve goals effectively and efficiently this include providing training for them where it is needed. Each boss must plan and oversee the wok of each of his or her subordinates.

In an academic library there are different services offered for example cataloguing and accession section can be directed by one manager then the E- resource section can be under another manager e- journals purchased, subscriptions etc. This will ease the load as one manager is focusing on a specific service thus he spend more time trying to improve the services and working with his subordinates and improves efficiency in the library. As a manager attempts to perform the managerial job effectively and efficiently there is a need to ‘wear different hats’ in interaction with employees.

Managers interacts with others besides subordinates they work with other peer level managers in some other departments and outside contacts (suppliers and clients). Thus a manager is building contacts through which to gather information. Rachel agrees with this in the laws of management which says library resources are for use. A library manager is expected to connect resources with the user achieving the library goals. Through the liaison role a manager is able to network with other libraries.

Academic libraries can practice resource sharing if there are shortages of material in specific departments the two libraries can share the available resources to both libraries and this will give the patrons a wide variety of information thus fulfilling their needs, this will improve efficiency. The manager is exposed to new ideas or methods that may improve the work unit operations. The manager initiates activities that will allow and encourage the work unit to use the idea most advantageously. Rachel’s law of management says that a library is a growing organism.

A manager needs to open to change and help the library evolve to meet the needs of patrons. We can look at public library, the introduction of automation the staff may resist change having fear of losing their jobs thus a manager is responsible for encouraging and motivating the staff showing them the advantages of automating the library services and how it can reduce their workload, providing training for them thus the duties are performed effectively and efficiently satisfying the needs of different patrons.

An effective manager is an active leader who creates a positive work environment in which the organization and its employees have the opportunity and incentive to achieve high performance (……….. ) In order to perform duties effectively and efficiently Rachel says that “every task its doer”. The manager encourages ownership and responsibility to each staff member. Every staff member his/ her work, the manager must know people’s skills and strength and staff can then be deployed according to their abilities then the duties can be done perfectly improving effectiveness and efficiency in a library.

Even though the staff is divided according to their abilities it is the duty of a manager to create a spirit oneness and togetherness amongst the subordinates. They should work as a team to achieve the library goals; Bavakuty M (2000) agrees that libraries can become effective and efficient by “strong top management support, a system approach and strategic planning, a customer focus, an emphasis on employee team work, empowerment training, the use of measurement and analysis technique and commitment to continuous improvement”.

The manager seeks and receives wide variety of special information to develop through the understanding of the library and the environment, emerges as the nerve centre about the library. The manager monitors internal and external events, ideas, trends and analysis. The manager then uses the information to detect changes, problems and opportunities and to construct decision making scenario. The manager as the disseminator transmits information from other employees to other members of the library.

The manager can bring external information received into the organization and facilitate internal flow of information. Thus we realize that management is the heart of any type of library and facilitate efficiency and effectiveness. BIBLIOGRAPHY Bavakutty, M (2000). Management of libraries In the 21st Century. Ess Ess Publication. India. Griffin, R. (1987). Management 2nd editition. Maffin Co Mohant, T. C. (2008). Research Methodology in Library Science. alpha Publishers India. Plunket, R. (1983). Introduction to Management. Kent Publication. United States of Amenrica.