Alireza Isfandyari-Moghaddam (2015), "Workplace Culture in Academic Libraries: The Early 21st Century", The Electronic Library, Vol. 33 No. 1, pp. 154-154. https://doi.org/10.1108/EL-07-2014-0115
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Highlighting that “librarians and library staff are typically focused on serving the needs of library users, and this can lead them to lose sight of the fact that libraries are also places of work […] Librarians and library staff should be concerned with having a good environment in which to work, and improving libraries for library workers will doubtless result in better and more productive organisations” (p. 1), this edited volume was prepared to review current workplace cultures in academic libraries and ways to improve those cultures. In the form of 21 chapters distributed under 13 foundational parts, it attempts to respond to the main questions “What conditions contribute to an excellent academic library work environment?” and “What helps to make a particular academic library a great place to work?”. In relation to the three main interwoven terms, namely, “management”, “administration” and “leadership” that play dynamic and positive roles in any organisation, the book covers a variety of topics directly or indirectly affecting the good governance of organisations from the workplace culture perspective in academic libraries. Together, they include workplace culture itself in terms of different aspects, assessment as a control mechanism towards better performance, paying attention to and acclimating for newly recruited librarians, having a comprehensive approach to workforce diversity, physical environment and work space, positive morality, civility and mentality, communication as an undeniable issue, tenure track, mentoring and coaching, the importance of generational differences at work, motivation and incentives, conflict management as a catalyst for creativity and innovation (p. 308) and, finally, keeping staff in the loop via transparency. This volume has dealt successfully with the topic “workplace culture in academic libraries”, taking major pillars from human factors to physical as well as structural ones into consideration with an eye to a better future and excellence for the library system and its components. In addition to resting on a considerable theoretical foundation enriched by many relevant references, the theme is supported through a number of case studies done in the context of academic libraries. I think that the collection has made a great stride in articulating the concept and extent of workplace culture in academic libraries. Its contributors, for their part, contributed to the realisation of the mission sensitivity to, education of, and internalisation of workplace culture within libraries from an academic standpoint. This collective endeavour can be treated as a start towards the purposeful engagement of Library and Information Science with what helps to realise an excellent academic library work environment.