Managing Information Services: A Sustainable Approach (3rd ed.)

Philip Calvert (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 4 October 2011



Calvert, P. (2011), "Managing Information Services: A Sustainable Approach (3rd ed.)", The Electronic Library, Vol. 29 No. 5, pp. 725-726.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

This textbook has already acquired a well‐merited international reputation, so it is pleasing to see it continuing its life with a third edition. The familiar content is still present. It remains a book that I refer to myself on a regular basis, and one that is used as a textbook in many LIS courses. What's new about it lies in the increased attention paid to managing for sustainability and related topics such as transparency.

Whereas the second edition carried the sub‐title “A transformational approach”, the third edition is called “A sustainable approach”. The structure is altered so that seven parts in the second edition have now been reduced to six, and content has been shifted around to produce a new emphasis on sustainability. The section on strategy and planning contains a chapter on value for money and a cost‐sustainable future. The new third section contains some familiar content on leadership, but the emphasis has shifted towards leading to a sustainable future. It is in the new fourth section, called Governance and Social Responsibility, that there is much more new content. Bryson emphasises a “whole of life approach” (p. 301), which she acknowledges means balancing many competing demands.

There are many references to new technologies and how they can be used to manage the information service, and this is not only about ”Green IT”. The use of wikis for crowd‐sourcing as a means of ensuring transparency and gathering more ideas on developing user‐driven policy is one particularly good idea, and there are suggestions for using social networking when gathering customer feedback, and for environmental scanning.

Despite having a less than satisfactory index, this is a book I would recommend to any of my students and colleagues.

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