Library management is key to the smooth operating and ability of libraries to serve their patrons. One type of library within the academic world is the science library. These libraries have special operations and circumstances that make them unique.
This research project will attempt to find out which management models being advocated in professional writings are being adapted by science librarians in academic libraries, and whether they are actually gaining access to the information that they need.
Research Area What management theories are being used in academic libraries by science librarians. Literature Recent Publications including professional library science and business journals and books Content Best current practices and perceived needs, implemented practices and sources
How do contemporary publications meet needs for management in science libraries?
What do science librarians consider the most important needs in management practices?
Are there any gaps between what is published, what is reaching the librarians and/or what is wanted?
Design Science librarians at three libraries are targeted for initial input conducted by telephone interview. A literature review will be conducted using keywords and phrases to access what is actually available in current publications (2006-2008) that could include library science and academic business journals and books on management theory. Data analysis Qualitative: Input from Librarians Quantitaive: Content analysis by keywords and phrases, librarian responses tallied Data collection Short open questionnaire Literature review Answer questions
A large state university (39,524 students) in an urban setting with medical and dental schools, aeronautical and engineering programs and traditional hard sciences at both graduate and undergraduate levels. In 2004 it was awarded the Academic Libraries Award, which recognizes the top university research library in the country. There are 47 science librarians employed at the university.
The second library is also a large (23,655 students) State university with important science programs in agriculture and veterinary medicine. It has specialized libraries for both of these programs. It is located in a rather isolated rural community and has 23 science librarians.
The third is a private liberal arts undergraduate college with one of the highest acceptance rates for their students at graduate programs in science, including medical and engineering. It is a small college (1,500 students) with a large library that employs 19 librarians, all considered generalists but three specifically serve the science departments.
Interview Questions What management issues concern you? What professional publications do you read? Which publications have you found to be most helpful? Are there any noticeable gaps in available management information? Are there any authors in the field that you would particularly recommend?
Step 3 – Literature review The publications cited by the librarians will become the basis of the literature review, although it is also important not to limit it to those publications. Using the key words and phrases from the specialty publications cited by the librarians, it will then be fairly simple to cross reference and see if other academic publications in business or library science may also contain useful information about management. Hopefully the results will indicate what further research may be most useful to these librarians as well as giving a good picture of the information currently available to them.