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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2012

Amy Chang and Kawanna Bright

The purpose of this paper is to: address how the library middle management role has changed; assist middle managers in identifying new opportunities and broadening their…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to: address how the library middle management role has changed; assist middle managers in identifying new opportunities and broadening their horizon within middle management; offer strategies for middle managers to be more efficient and effective in the changing era; and lay out the challenges middle managers are facing to further discussions.

Design/methodology/approach

Both authors have been middle managers for many years and are experiencing the change from the traditional roles. As the new roles are emerging, the authors have done literature reviews in order to understand what factors have caused the changes, how middle managers can deal with these changes, and identify the challenges they will face. Through research, the authors have also studied how business managers handle changes and identify areas from which library middle managers can gain insight.

Findings

The authors identify the causes of the changes that impact middle managers in academic libraries, through evaluation of day‐to‐day experiences and literature research.

Research limitations/implications

Since this is a new trend, the data are difficult to collect and the best practices are still under development in many academic libraries. Research implications are in the new roles for middle managers, including roles in communication channels, management teams, collaboration, and responsibilities.

Practical implications

The authors identify the new roles in middle management in a few areas: communication, management teams, collaboration, and responsibilities. The paper also outlines keys for being effective in middle management, including total quality management, staff readiness, and thinking outside of the box.

Originality/value

The paper addresses the cause of the changing roles for middle management and the specific impact that these changes are having on middle managers. This paper also identifies the new roles being undertaken by middle managers.

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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2019

Janette Raubenheimer and Patrick Ngulube

The purpose of this paper is to gain original evidence of the perception of Open Distance Learning (ODL) library middle managers towards the meaning of career success from…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to gain original evidence of the perception of Open Distance Learning (ODL) library middle managers towards the meaning of career success from the perspective of the individual.

Design/methodology/approach

This quantitative research study was conducted with the help of a survey questionnaire designed by the first researcher.

Findings

Results revealed that career success no longer only relates to criteria such as the hierarchical position or progression through high ratings obtained during performance appraisal. A high premium is placed by ODL library middle managers on other success criteria identified in the literature, such as the positive effect of their work on the institution, success achieved through a focus on work life and home life balance and personal recognition due to competence.

Research limitations/implications

The research findings presented in this paper form an important part of a comprehensive study on ODL library middle management development but is limited to the only ODL library in South Africa.

Practical implications

The paper provides current perceptions of ODL library middle managers to be considered during career path planning.

Originality/value

The paper provides the first findings of an overview of the perception of South African ODL library middle managers towards the meaning of career success. The study is timely as the number of ODL institutions is growing. The target population to benefit from this study is ODL library practitioners.

Details

Library Management, vol. 40 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 November 2020

Ian D. Gordon

The purpose of this article attempts to portray the unique and complex role of library middle managers. This important and influential position can be a proving ground for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article attempts to portray the unique and complex role of library middle managers. This important and influential position can be a proving ground for new and old managers as libraries continue to evolve, adjust policies, introduce new services and meet the needs of their users. Circulation managers as influential middle managers are realistically depicted as busy, overwhelmed and isolated, but welcome the opportunity to provide leadership and enhance their professional development.

Design/methodology/approach

This viewpoint is solely based on the author's varied experiences and personal reflections as a circulation department head providing leadership alongside colleagues in a busy academic library.

Findings

Department heads as managers of circulation departments are pivotal positions in every library. Circulation heads performing as middle managers are responsible for a full range of administrative, managerial and organizational services. Circulation heads are well positioned as change agents simultaneously directing frontline staff members, policies and services while providing valuable insight to library administration. Yet, circulation managers experiencing constantly evolving responsibilities, are too often found to be caught in the middle negotiating inconsistencies. Successful circulation managers require an eclectic mix of essential skills initiating and deploying change, defining success, dealing with people, actively participating in professional development and providing leadership.

Research limitations/implications

The study and research of library middle managers in public and academic libraries is practically nonexistent. As libraries increasingly create, adjust and reinvent library services, spaces and visions due to increasing digitization, in response to emerging online environments and new service models – middle managers and circulation librarians are excellent and proven pivots to negotiate and successfully implement this change.

Practical implications

As a crafted article written by a former head of a circulation department every staff member, student and librarian serving in access/borrowing/circulation departments should consult this article as required reading.

Social implications

The voices of library middle managers are too often muted, not valued and rarely celebrated. This viewpoint article written in a conversational voice depicts circulation librarians as middle managers that bring value to all libraries and should be heard.

Originality/value

This paper depicts the opportunities and challenges faced by, as well as the skills and competencies required by librarians serving as circulation departments heads.

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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2013

Louise Mort Feldmann, Allison V. Level and Shu Liu

The aim of this paper is to describe a process undertaken by Colorado State University Libraries' (CSUL) faculty to address concerns regarding their leadership training…

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3093

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to describe a process undertaken by Colorado State University Libraries' (CSUL) faculty to address concerns regarding their leadership training and development opportunities within the Libraries.

Design/methodology/approach

A Task Force (TF) under the direction of the Libraries Faculty Council (LFC) collected and examined feedback from the faculty librarians, reviewed professional literature, and made recommendations to the Libraries' administration and the Council.

Findings

Recommendations by the TF include: possible training initiatives, leadership role development, and improvement of organizational communication. The work of the TF heightened awareness of the issue within the Libraries. An LFC standing committee is now exploring and offering leadership training opportunities on an ongoing basis. An organizational climate survey has been completed and its results shared among the library faculty to address the issue of communication. In addition, the Libraries' administration has launched a number of strategic initiatives that were open to faculty and staff for leadership and participation. A number of faculty librarians are now leading these initiatives based on their professional strengths and interests.

Originality/value

This article has value to academic librarians and library administrators as they consider improving leadership training and development opportunities in their libraries. As middle management positions in academic libraries diminish, consideration must be given to how academic librarians gain experience or are trained in order to be well‐prepared for future leadership positions. Additionally, library administration should be instrumental in providing such opportunities to their librarians to ensure professional growth.

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Abstract

Details

Advances in Librarianship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-881-0

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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2016

Ahsan Ullah

Differentiation is an important dimension of organizational structure, as it is the building block of organizational structure upon which organizations are based. The…

Abstract

Purpose

Differentiation is an important dimension of organizational structure, as it is the building block of organizational structure upon which organizations are based. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the nature of differentiation in central libraries of leading universities in Pakistan.

Design/methodology/approach

Multiple quantitative methods were used to carry out this research. Structured questionnaire, perusal of organizational documents and observation of library section were used to collect data for this study.

Findings

Majority of libraries have divided the entire library operations into five to eight departments, and acquisition, circulation and periodical sections are created in almost all the libraries included in the sample. Unity of command principle is applied at only the section level, but dual chain of command is prevalent for personnel working under the two hierarchical levels, i.e. section head and library head, as they have to report to both of them. In majority of libraries, average span of control ranges from five to ten personnel for the library head and from six to seven personnel for the section head.

Originality/value

No such study is conducted in Pakistan. This study has identified the levels of differentiation and will guide academic library executives in creating a balance in the levels of differentiation to accomplish the objectives of the organization.

Details

Library Management, vol. 37 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2002

Simon Francis

An account is given of the implications for management of the introduction of the VTLS automation system in Tomsk State University Library in Siberia, as part of a library

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1304

Abstract

An account is given of the implications for management of the introduction of the VTLS automation system in Tomsk State University Library in Siberia, as part of a library modernisation project funded under the EU TEMPUS‐TACIS programme. The case study describes the changes brought about by the project, which included the creation of one of the first strategic development plans produced by a Russian university library and a considerable change in the attitudes of Tomsk State University Library staff. Examples are given of the effects of one of the first implementations of a full Western automation system covering all functional modules on the structure of the library.

Details

Program, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1997

Richard Olorunsola

Automated systems, like manual systems, will not be successful without adequate training and preparation on the part of the staff. Some problems will arise where adequate…

Abstract

Automated systems, like manual systems, will not be successful without adequate training and preparation on the part of the staff. Some problems will arise where adequate training is lacking. The article discusses the structure and organisation of on‐site training of staff in the use of TINLIB software at the University of Ilorin Library. Particular attention is paid to the content of the training, trainers and what the programme is out to achieve. The article discusses some pitfalls in the training exercise and offers suggestions for future training programmes.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 49 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1973

THE proposed new central library for Portsmouth, for which the foundation stone was laid by the Lord Mayor at the beginning of December, looks from its plans to be a…

Abstract

THE proposed new central library for Portsmouth, for which the foundation stone was laid by the Lord Mayor at the beginning of December, looks from its plans to be a satisfying building, of architectural interest, which incorporates admirably up‐to‐date ideas of reader service and staff needs.

Details

New Library World, vol. 74 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1983

Robert Shallow

It seems to me that nobody talks much about making New Year resolutions nowadays, and newspapers and magazines no longer publish pieces on the good intentions of famous…

Abstract

It seems to me that nobody talks much about making New Year resolutions nowadays, and newspapers and magazines no longer publish pieces on the good intentions of famous people. Those features have been replaced by others made up of the hopes and predictions, for the forthcoming twelve‐month, of politicians and media‐personalities—an Old Bores' Almanac. (You may be wondering what's so new about a year that has now reached March, June, or whatever, according to your position on the periodicals circulation list. Well, at this end of the production line, it's only January.)

Details

New Library World, vol. 84 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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