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Lose the silver bullets

Terrance Luther Cottrell (University of St. Francis, Joliet, Illinois, USA)

The Bottom Line

ISSN: 0888-045X

Article publication date: 4 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to reveal and dissuade the facilitation, fostering and support of silver bullet employee situations in libraries.

Design/methodology/approach

The concept of a “silver bullet” employee is first explained, and then brought into the context of library management in a variety of settings. Steps are given to counteract this phenomenon through strategic cross-training and knowledge management initiatives.

Findings

Silver bullet employees can be common, but they are not unavoidable aspects of institutional development. Realizing when and how a staff member is becoming too specialized can serve to save time and money down the road when this type of employee moves on.

Originality/value

Silver bullet employees are not discussed enough in library literature or at professional conferences. Not planning for employee departure, especially for the departure of highly skilled, talented and specialized employees incurs unnecessary stress and cost to an organization’s leadership personnel.

Keywords

Citation

Luther Cottrell, T. (2014), "Lose the silver bullets", The Bottom Line, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 89-92. https://doi.org/10.1108/BL-06-2014-0019

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited