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Management versus repetitive tasks – avoiding “working for the weekend”: A crash course in motivating library staff faced with seemingly endless tasks

Janelle R. Thomas (Swanton Public Library, Swanton, Ohio, USA)
Robert P. Holley (School of Library and Information Science, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Article publication date: 29 September 2012

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1801

Abstract

Purpose

In this paper the authors aim to examine ways to motivate staff whose job assignments include repetitive library tasks such as shelving, copy cataloguing, circulation, and other similar functions.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors review the appropriate management literature and build upon the extensive management experience of the second author.

Findings

Ways to increase employee motivation including enriching the work experience, effective communication, appropriate incentives, and treating each employee as an individual. Sharing tasks among staff and maintaining an ergonomic workspace are also important. Library automation and eliminating unneeded tasks can reduce repetitive tasks but can also lead to a reduction in staff.

Practical implications

The paper provides practical steps for managers to take to keep staff motivated when faced with repetitive tasks.

Originality/value

This paper summarizes the management literature on this topic to provide practical guidance for library managers.

Keywords

Citation

Thomas, J.R. and Holley, R.P. (2012), "Management versus repetitive tasks – avoiding “working for the weekend”: A crash course in motivating library staff faced with seemingly endless tasks", New Library World, Vol. 113 No. 9/10, pp. 462-473. https://doi.org/10.1108/03074801211273939

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited