Chapter Seven Management: An Essential Skill for Today’s Librarians Barbara B. Moran
The Importance of Management Major national, public, and academic libraries face many of the same challenges as the large for-profit corporations. The library of congress for instance (the picture to your right), has a budget of over US$600 million. The importance of management has increased as libraries have grown in terms of budgets, collections, and staff. Library Management must know how to secure and manage: funds, people, and physical resources for the library to be successful (Haycock & Sheldon, 2008, p. 65-66).
What is Management? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines management as the act or art of managing; handling, direction, or control (Merriam-Webster, 1999). Management is the art of getting things done through people (Evans & Ward, 2007, pg. 7). “Leading by the hand” (Shead, 2007).
The Functions of Management 5 1) Planning: Planning allows managers to think ahead to the things that need to be done and to the methods for getting them done. 2) Organizing: Managers must establish the formal structure through which work is divided. 3) Staffing: This function involves the hiring, training, compensating, and retaining of people necessary to achieve the organizational objectives. 4) Leading: Leading involves creating a shared culture and communicating goals to employees. 5) Controlling: Controlling is the monitoring of activities within an organization. (Haycock & Sheldon, 2008, p. 69-71)
Levels of ManagementThe Top-Down Approach Top Management: These managers are in charge of the entire organization , and are responsible for setting the organizational policy and leadership style. Middle Management: These are the managers in charge of specific functions within the organization and usually consist of department heads. Supervisors: These are the first-line managers, who lead the day to day activities and are responsible for the production of goods and services. (Haycock & Sheldon, 2008, p. 68-69).
Management Skills Robert Katz’s 3 skills to management:
Technical skill relate to specific functions and tasks and is most important for managers at lower levels.
Human skill is the ability to interact effectively with people . This is important for all managers.
Conceptual skill is the ability to look at the overall picture of the organization. Managers must be able to articulate their vision about the current organization, and its plans for the future. This is crucial for upper management.
(Haycock & Sheldon, 2008, p. 71-73)
LIS programs Additional degrees Observation and On-the-job training Staff development and educational classes Two Important Facts: All managers learn from doing. Lifelong learning is crucial for management. (Haycock & Sheldon, 2008, p. 74-75) Acquiring Management Skills
The Next Generation librarians or Gen X and Gen Y librarians, will be the managers of the twenty-first century. Management responsibility is distributed more widely throughout the organization than it has been in the past. Increasing popularity of team-based organizations has led to a flattening of the pyramid and elimination of some middle managers. (Haycock & Sheldon, 2008, p. 66-67) The Evolving World Of Libraries
Conclusion With librarians facing challenges resulting from increased competition, growing globalization, rapidly changing technology, and economic recessions; it is now more important than ever, for knowledgeable managers in the workplace.
Evans, G.E., & Ward, P.L. (2nd Ed.). (2007). Management Basics for Information Professionals. New York, NY: Neal Shuman Publishers, Inc. Merriam-Webster. (1st Ed.). (1999). Langenscheidt’s Pocket Dictionary. New York, NY: Langenscheidt Publishers. Moran, Barbara B. (2008). Management: An Essential Skill for Today’s Librarians. In K. Haycock, & B.E. Sheldon (1st Ed.), The Portable MLIS: Insights from the Experts (pp. 65-76). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. Shead, Mark. (2007). Definition of Management. Leadership 501: Examining the Gears of Leadership. Retrieved from http://www.leadership501.com/definition-of-management/21/ References