Advances in Library Administration and Organization: Volume 24

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Over the years, Advances in Library Administration and Organization has worked to bring you research articles and well thought out essays on how we manage or ought to manage libraries and other information agencies. This volume is no exception. It brings together essays on an eclectic set of topics, many of which are based on research methodologies developed outside of librarianship and that are not often used in our field. We, the editors, feel that this is as consistently good a collection of pieces as we have ever offered readers and hope you will find that to be true.

Using bibliometrics to examine eight core journals in the year 2000 for the disciplines of higher education and library science, characteristics of the authors were determined, including gender or sex; Carnegie Classification or institutional affiliation; and position of the authors. Characteristics of the articles were also examined, including the research methods used such as descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, or qualitative analysis. A content analysis of each article was performed to determine the subjects discussed in each literature. For both disciplines, it was learned that males publish more, the highest Carnegie Classification, extensive research institutions, were represented the most, and authors came from academic departments other than their own disciplines. In higher education, inferential statistics were used frequently; in library and information descriptive statistics were used frequently; both disciplines failed to use research methodologies regularly. From these findings, it appears that both disciplines are still emerging and are in their early stages of development.

This paper situates the concept of library as place in its broader context of relevant theory and research in a number of fields, primarily psychology, neurology, geography, philosophy, and architecture. The term “place” is defined, its powers described, and its role in library administration and design thus revealed to be one of very considerable significance at the highest levels of library mission in any setting.

This study uses a microanalysis of interaction approach to study how interactive service workers collaborate with one another in conversations to construct their professional identity in the face of the rapid contextual change. The data consist of (1) a complex written exchange downloaded from an Internet listserv and (2) a mechanically recorded conversation and detailed transcript showing the exact sequence of turns in the conversation, overlapping utterances, laughter, and speech errors. Everyday descriptions in these conversations reveal how knowledge workers produce and reproduce professional identity and a shared culture in the ways they: (1) categorize themselves and other workers, (2) amend or collaborate on each other's characterizations of clients, and (3) negotiate local policies and rules as they intersect with professional values and emotional boundaries. The results demonstrate a need for opportunities to integrate the increasing complexity of interactive service into professional identity as a response to technological and social change.

The purpose of this study was to determine not-yet-tenured university library faculty members’ views of 27 methods their department chair may use to support and enhance the faculty member's professional development. The methods were derived from earlier qualitative research on department chairs in higher education. While academic teaching department chair roles have been the subject of the research literature for many years, little research has addressed library faculty perceptions of the department chair's role. The survey instrument used consisted of two parts: (1) a demographics section, consisting of five questions; and (2) a researcher-developed survey of faculty perceptions of the department chairs’ role in faculty development. Survey participants were asked to rate the importance of methods chairs may use in enhancing the professional activities of faculty. According to the not-yet-tenured library faculty members responding to this study, a chair engaging in the most important practices to enhance their faculty's professional development would be one who utilizes good communication, while acting as an administrative advocate.

Mentoring is a concept that originated between 800 and 700 BC and which is still in existence in organisations irrespective of size, nature of ownership, type of industry or geographic location. In its most primal form it is regarded as a method according to which a less experienced employee (protégé or mentee) is guided and advised by a more experienced and skilled employee (mentor) in terms of life as well as professional skills. However, this definition has developed over time as organisations applied mentoring in a more structured manner and institutionalised it within formal organisational processes. Mentoring was, therefore, regarded as a method to “systematically develop the skills and leadership abilities of less experienced members of the organization” (SPA Consultants, 1995, p. 14). Mentoring has been in use within the library and information science profession from the mid-1980s and various publications have discussed the use of mentoring from an American, Australian and British perspective. However, relatively few publications are available regarding the use of mentoring within the South African contexts, and therefore an extensive discussion on the implementation of a structured mentoring scheme at the National Library of South Africa (NLSA) is included in the article. This study draws particularly on recent literature on the knowledge economy and more specifically knowledge management to suggest ways in which the concept of mentoring should be revised. Mentoring should henceforth be seen as a knowledge management technique to support the creation and sharing of tacit knowledge rather than merely a technique to develop less experienced individuals. This revised view of mentoring is of particular importance to ensure the sustainability of library and information service organisations in the knowledge economy.

Cognitive work analysis (CWA) is a method of understanding and documenting the constraints inherent in a work domain, irrespective of the actions undertaken within the work domain and the actors who undertake them. The keystone of CWA is the abstraction–decomposition space (ADS), which provides a constraint-based overview of the system. CWA has been successfully applied in a variety of settings to create tools that make the underlying goals and constraints of the system more apparent, and allow a worker the flexibility to perform his or her job in a manner appropriate to the current conditions, without being restricted to a particular task flow. In the current study, semistructured protocol analysis was conducted with six research librarians in order to create an ADS representing the information research work domain. The resulting ADS was reviewed with the participants, who confirmed its accuracy. Insight provided by the ADS regarding the work domain of research librarians is discussed, as are implications for tools to support information research.

The results of a study of a collaborative digital library development project suggested that activities positively associated with project success included various forms of connection work, such as integrating diverse people, organizations, and collections of information. The digital library study results are juxtaposed with the results of a survey of the skills and interests of 106 library school students, which revealed that though few aspire to be library managers per se, students reported strong interest in the type of collaborative and synthetic work found to be success factors in the digital library project. The comparison suggests a disconnection between theoretical management concepts, student perceptions of library management, and real-world practice in library management education. A hybrid library management course and practicum is proposed, one which de-emphasizes fictional case studies in favor of providing opportunities for students to evaluate management concepts by observing practice, and to challenge their perceptions of what management is.

For centuries, the Hispanic population has been proving itself as an emerging majority in the United States. The United States census shows that the Hispanic population more than doubled from 1970 to 1980 and from 1980 to 1990. However, despite these data, libraries have not adapted their library services to meet the needs of this population, despite their knowledge that Hispanics do not feel welcome in libraries. Authors from 1970 to 2001 have highlighted the long-standing problem of Hispanic under-utilization of libraries and have provided recommendations for the library community regarding adapting their services in a culturally sensitive manner. Despite these publications, there is still literature in 2001 reporting that Hispanics do not feel welcome in libraries. The purpose of this study is to examine the current status of three facets of librarianship: (1) outreach efforts to Hispanics; (2) specialized training for Hispanics in bibliographic and information literacy; and (3) current attitudes of Hispanics toward public libraries.

Investigations of urban public services remain confined to western settings while research on urban public services in non-western cities focuses mainly on the availability and delivery of basic services. Using the case study of Calcutta, this study is an empirical investigation of the evolution, spatial distribution, and changes in spatial patterns of public libraries for the period 1850–1991. It seeks to demonstrate the provision and accessibility to public libraries at the intraurban scale thereby extending research of urban service delivery to a non-western city. Within the context of urban service delivery – who benefits and why, the location of libraries in three time periods are analyzed. The study finds that the urban morphology of the colonial city continues to exert a strong influence on the growth and spatial distribution of public libraries. Empirical evidence suggests that there is no locational bias based on physical accessibility in the distribution of public libraries. No progressive or regressive spatial arrangement based on socioeconomic variables is indicated.

Dana W. R. Boden is an associate professor, and has been a subject specialist liaison librarian for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and the Research and Extension Centers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for over 20 years. As liaison to five departments in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, she received her B.S. from Western Kentucky University; M.S.L.S. from the University of Kentucky; and Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Author Index

Pages 391-399
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Subject Index

Pages 401-402
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DOI
10.1016/S0732-0671(2006)24
Publication date
Book series
Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-0-7623-1410-2
eISBN
978-1-84950-483-6
Book series ISSN
0732-0671