Table of contents(14 chapters)
The first half of this volume is on the theme of library operations and management. The second half covers three different topics which point toward trends and implications for libraries, education, and the use of electronic texts by humanities researchers.
This chapter describes the growth and decline of Library Operational Research (Library OR) since the first descriptions of such activity appeared in the 1960s. The changing nature of OR and of the academic library is discussed and a case is made for recognition of a new paradigm in Library OR. First explored are the origins of OR and its application to academic libraries, summarizing some of the critical assessments of Library OR from those active in the field, and exploring some of the literature that relates to the development of OR itself, the academic library as an entity, and the modeler/library–practitioner interaction. Each indicates that a new way of working in Library OR is required if it is to deliver the results that OR has delivered in other contexts. The growth and decline of Library OR has been very marked. The decline has coincided with a reevaluation of the nature and contribution of OR itself, particularly in relation to modeling activities. New modeling approaches have evolved involving problem structuring, and these new paradigms extend naturally to Library OR and would help ease a number of concerns raised against the use of traditional OR models. Practical implications of this chapter are that academic libraries are facing an era of unprecedented change and some of the issues to be addressed relate to identifying and managing strategy and managing change. The adoption of new paradigms could enliven the practice and contribution of Library OR.
Intellectual capital is the set of all intangible assets, that is, invisible, non-monetary assets held by a library, which can be identified as separate assets. Intellectual capital has become the buzzword of a knowledge-based economy and is the ultimate source of competitive advantage. In this work, we review the literature to analyse the effect of intellectual capital utilisation in the overall library management, to identify and classify intellectual capital and to provide some guidelines for researchers and practitioners. A literature review for the intellectual capital in libraries is conducted, and a qualitative analysis is undertaken, which interrelates library management to intellectual capital is taking place. The review leads to identification and classification of intellectual capital as well as to a number of quite innovative and interesting issues for the interrelation of intellectual capital to the management of libraries. The issues studied include intellectual capital economic valuation methods, the effect of the locality (spatial factor) to intellectual capital utilisation and the analysis of co-opetition (cooperation and competition) for intellectual capital utilisation. This is one of only a few studies about the management of intellectual capital in libraries and information services (LIS)—an innovative and challenging area of research in library management.
This chapter explores the question of where and how leaders in the library field gain the knowledge, skills, and ability to lead and manage people. The authors report empirical evidence to answer this question based on the results of the third stage of an ongoing study—a study which examines the academic preparation of professional librarians who have become directors of libraries. The results of a survey inquiring into the formal training received by practicing library directors are detailed. Among other findings, 55.1% of the library directors surveyed and observed that graduate library school did not prepare them to become library directors. There is some evidence that a shift of perception regarding the need for traditional management training has begun to occur in library schools. The authors contend that this trend needs to accelerate if the information profession intends to prepare library directors to assume leadership roles in the future. This chapter briefly reviews the research findings from stage one and two research, which provided the foundation for the current study. As a result of this research a fourth stage of research is planned which will use in person in-depth interviews of library directors. The influence of leadership on organizational results has been explored within the broader management literature. There is clearly a relationship between leadership and results. What is unclear is how and where these leaders gain the knowledge, skills, and ability to lead and manage.
San Diego County (California, USA) contains 18 Indian reservations—more than any other county in the United States. Citizens of these reservations, each recognized as a sovereign nation, have information needs that are highly sophisticated. Coming from a civilization that preserved history through oral tradition, they have only recently made the transition to writing things down and collecting books into buildings. In spite of many tragic events that drastically reduced their population, San Diego County's Indians have retained much of their heritage through efforts of tribal elders and non-Indian historians. With federal and local assistance, tribal libraries were constructed on about half of San Diego County's reservations during the 1980s. Over the next few years, reduction of grant funds adversely affected them, resulting in some closures. Thanks to creative efforts made by many individuals at a local university, the state library, professional associations, and most of all by the Indians themselves, a number of San Diego County's tribal libraries are growing and taking on new shapes. Five local tribal librarians were surveyed twice over a 12-month period regarding their respective libraries. Analysis yielded four key factors for success: (1) the presence of a designated librarian; (2) support from the tribal government; (3) plans and a vision for the future; and (4) partnerships and connections with other entities. The research suggests that these factors are applicable toward ensuring success for small, geographically and culturally isolated libraries in any context.
The background and context of Australian Library and Information Services (LIS) education and the role LIS education plays in constructing the Australian workplace are explored in this chapter. It provides an analysis of the broader historical, social and educational imperatives which have shaped Australian LIS education. It also examines the pedagogical, structural and epistemological construct surrounding the development of education for LIS in that country. Specific questions are raised about divisions in LIS education and training which lay the framework for further research and discussion. The historical context for LIS education is covered and insights into the nature and background of the broader educational frameworks which have influenced it are provided.
This research paper explores the roles of electronic texts in research projects in the humanities and seeks to deepen the understanding of the nature of scholars' engagement with e-texts. The study used qualitative methodology to explore engagement of scholars in literary and historical studies with primary materials in electronic form (i.e., e-texts). The study revealed a range of scholars' interactions with e-texts during the whole research process. It uncovered a particular pattern of information-seeking practices in electronic environments called netchaining and the main types of uses and contributions of e-texts to research projects. It was found that e-texts play support and substantive roles in the research process. A number of influences from electronic environment are identified as challenges and aids in working with e-texts. The study does not have statistical significance. It indicates a need for further research into scholarly practices, training requirements, and new forms of service provision. Study results are relevant for the development of digital collections, information services, educational programs, and other forms of support for the use of technology in research. The results can be also used to inform approaches to text encoding and development of electronic information systems and have implications for organizational and industry policies. The study found a range of scholars' interactions and forms of intellectual engagement with e-texts that were not documented and analyzed by earlier studies. It provides insights into disciplinary variations in the humanities and contributes to the understanding of scholarly change catalyzed by information technology.