General Library Management

General Library Management

Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2184-8.ch004
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Abstract

Building on the discussion of mission statements, goals, and objectives in Chapter 3, this chapter begins with long and short range planning. It is not enough to complete the basic organizational documents only to shove them into a filing cabinet and forget they exist. Used properly, these documents can help keep library activities, staff, administration, and governing authorities on track and within the library’s resources. Planning activities can also have an impact on the political climate in which the library exists. Political realities are addressed throughout this chapter as it discusses funding methods and issues, the budget process, and the purpose of written policies and procedures. Because much of this information is generic to all library types, the authors have tried to keep the discussion and examples specific to the public law library’s peculiarities.
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Planning

According to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, the purpose of planning is to provide “…an infrastructure for allocating existing resources, seeking new funding, identifying service and resources priorities, demonstrating accountability, and accomplishing goals, objectives, and outcomes.” (Todaro, 2012, p. 51). By reviewing the library’s mission statement, goals and objectives, the library’s administrators, staff, and board or committee members can tailor both long and short range plans to the library’s demands, needs and wants. The planning process helps prioritize the library’s activities, easing the budget process when trying to fit the governing authority’s and library users’ expectations to the library’s existing resources. Constant evaluation of the library’s short and long range plans is also essential if the library’s staff, governing authority and library board or committee are to make those adjustments necessary to meet library and user needs as they arise during each budget and contract cycle. Effective planning helps keep everyone focused on:

  • The library’s mission, goals and objectives.

  • A specific need or wish.

  • The purpose behind each specific need or wish.

  • The financial and non-financial cost of an item or project.

Finally, planning enables the library to respond quickly to a change in direction caused by fiscal, political or community changes.

Effective use of the library’s resources means knowing where the library’s resources (financial and non-financial) are going and evaluating those expenses as justifiable, necessary, unnecessary, or in need of adjustment. The library’s needs change as its patrons’ demands change, revenues rise or fall, expenses rise or fall, and the parent organization’s view of the library changes. Continually evaluating the library’s services, collection and expenditures enables the librarian to make quick, regular adjustments to services and resources throughout the year. Is the public law library seeing more lay patrons than legal professionals? Does the library’s personal injury collection need a major overhaul? Is that massive and very expensive real property print set used enough to justify spending one-tenth of the collection development budget on another year’s update subscription?

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