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The business of the library is service

Bruce E. Massis (Columbus State Community College, Columbus, Ohio, USA)

Information and Learning Sciences

ISSN: 2398-5348

Article publication date: 10 July 2017




The purpose of this paper is to suggest that today’s libraries function using business practices in its management of the library to ensure that its service-based mission is respected.


Literature review and commentary on this topic that has been addressed by professionals, researchers and practitioners.


Libraries have learned from business the importance of using not only the business practice of using a vigorous level of data-driven decision-making, but data-driven reporting as well to a public that expects a higher level of scrutiny, clarity and precision. Paired with evidence from those who have benefitted from the library’s programs and services most visibly, this combination of data and human-driven anecdotes can serve as the optimum marriage of business and service-based confirmation of library success.


The value in exploring this topic is to make the distinction between libraries whose supporters expect it to be formally managed like a business as opposed to those who suggest that business practices be used in library operations to ensure its mission as a service-based entity is maintained.



Declaration: I declare that there is no potential conflict of interest in the research.


Massis, B.E. (2017), "The business of the library is service", Information and Learning Sciences, Vol. 118 No. 7/8, pp. 447-450.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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