Advances in Library Administration and Organization: Volume 33

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Table of contents

(12 chapters)

The dynamic environment in which the academic library operates requires explicit links between business strategy and a new management priority including the development of people; this is the focus of human resource development (HRD). It serves the needs of an organization by ensuring that employees’ expertise is state-of-the-art, something that is critical in a period of rapid technological development coinciding with ever-expanding societal needs. HRD can be relied upon to support and shape a wide range of academic library initiatives requiring a competent and engaged workforce by recognizing people as the organization’s most critical asset, one that drives competitive advantage and helps it out-perform the market. Emphasis is placed on developing an organizational context that will attract and develop talented individuals and leaders and keep them engaged. Furthermore, HRD activities must respond to job changes and integrate staff skills sets with the long-term plans and strategies of the organization thus ensuring the efficient and effective use of resources. This chapter explores HRD as a strategic concern of the organization and how it can best serve the organization in the long term. In so doing, it considers how HRD can help the academic library focus resources in those areas where there are strong likelihoods that they can produce substantial improvements in future capacity and performance. This kind of strategic planning helps the organization configure resources within a dynamic competitive environment, thus serving market needs and satisfying stakeholder expectations, helping meet its business purpose and maintain its strategic direction. The case study developed here highlights the need for the effective linkage of HRD and strategic planning for the advancement of the academic library. It suggests the need for developing and implementing both a strategic plan and an HRD plan and developing a culture of strategic human resource development (SHRD) in academic libraries.


This research highlights the scenarios that might serve as a strategic vision to describe a future beyond the current library, one which both guides provosts and creates a map for the transformation of human resources and technology in the university research libraries. The scenarios offer managerial leaders an opportunity to envision new roles for librarians and staff which brings a much needed focus on the development of human resources as well as a thought-stream to understand decisions which effectively and systematically move the organization toward a strategic vision.

These scenarios also outline possible future directions research libraries could take by focusing on perspectives from library directors, provosts, and administrators for human resources. The four case study scenarios introduce potential future roles for librarians and highlight the unsustainability of the current scholarly communications model as well as uncertain factors related to the political, social, technical, and demographic issues facing campuses. Given the changes institutions face, scenarios allow directors to include more uncertainty when developing and articulating a vision. These scenarios may start a discussion, before a strategic planning process, to sharpen the evaluations and measures necessary to monitor achievements that define the value of the library.


The purpose of this case study was to explore senior librarians’ perceptions of successful leadership skills in the 21st century. The data gathered from 10 senior library leaders consisted of demographic information and responses to six open-ended interview questions. From the NVivo 10 analysis, several significant themes emerged regarding successful library leadership skills in the 21st century at two levels: foundational and interpersonal. At the foundational level, technical and knowledge skills form the building blocks for the next level of interpersonal skills. Persuasion and collaborative skills are interwoven with these interpersonal skills, both of which are at the core of the postindustrial paradigm of leadership. These two levels of skills, with an emphasis on persuasion skills, should form the basis of succession planning programs for next generation librarians. Implementing such programs could lead to increased leadership diversity, greater job satisfaction, improved job performance and effectiveness, all of which help retain librarians and ease staff shortages. Further studies are recommended.


This qualitative case study explored the information literacy acquisition of 23 students enrolled in a learning community consisting of an advanced English as a Second Language (ESL) writing class and a one-unit class introducing students to research at a suburban community college library in California. As there are no other known learning communities that link an ESL course to a library course, this site afforded a unique opportunity to understand the ways in which ESL students learn to conduct library research. Students encountered difficulties finding, evaluating, and using information for their ESL assignments. Strategies that the students, their ESL instructor, and their instructional librarian crafted in response were enabled by the learning community structure. These strategies included integration of the two courses’ curricula, contextualized learning activities, and dialogue. ESL students in this study simultaneously discovered new language forms, new texts, new ideas, and new research practices, in large part because of the relationships that developed over time among the students, instructor, and instructional librarian. Given the increasing number of ESL students in higher education and the growing concern about their academic success, this study attempts to fill a gap in the research literature on ESL students’ information literacy acquisition.


This chapter addresses the dramatic changes that are taking place in public library design and how these changes affect the ways the public library is managed and used. The public library is becoming the cultural center of the community and the place to go for digital information. While maintaining areas for quiet individual study, the public library now provides spaces for collaborative work as well. And, because of automation, the staff can now work more closely with patrons than in the past. With the current emphasis on green buildings, many new and transformed libraries have been designed as examples of sustainable practice for their communities. All these changes can help create a new perception of the public library, resulting in raised visibility, more use, and increased membership.

Cover of Advances in Library Administration and Organization
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Advances in Library Administration and Organization
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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