Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
This attractively produced softback is aimed firmly at the LIS manager facing change and challenge in an increasingly competitive environment. As the author wisely says, “Libraries today are attempting to reinvent themselves to remain viable participants in the information universe”. “Empowerment” along with “Inclusion” is one of the new nirvanas of the modern age and libraries ignore it at their peril. Christopher reports on the worrying shortage of librarians in the USA and the concomitant efforts to make the very best use of existing staff as the major resource of the library. She sees empowerment as transformational using continuous staff development, creating and working within a “learning organisation”. Her ideas on motivating staff are sound, with recognition of the importance of Maslow's and Herzberg's theories on motivation and job satisfaction and enrichment. As nowadays every organization – no matter how small – has to have a “vision” she deals well with the business of creating and communicating visions and goals. Managers’ roles in coordinating and facilitating empowerment, giving feedback and building teams are covered. There is a useful chapter on “emotional intelligence” and how to harness it, particularly in a leadership context.
This is a helpful, quite accessible book, using good well‐chosen examples from industry and business to illuminate her points. It is well produced and has a good bibliography. All in all, a good, well written introduction from the American Library Association of interest and relevance to many UK LIS professionals.