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Library Administrator and Organizational Ideal Vision

The principles of management are, more or less, the same even in the case of different fields. Directing a public library means utilizing management principles and making sure that the various aspects of business operations are taken into consideration. While the public library may not be operating with a for-profit mindset, it should nonetheless be able to achieve its avowed goals and targets and grow in its own way. Breaking All the Rules Most organizations have a set way of doing things. This is usually part of the organizational culture.

In the case of the public library, it tends to be seen as just one of the services being offered by the community. It may be considered as nothing more than just a collection of books for borrowing and reference of people who do love books. Yet, if it were to grow, then the public library administrator has to reject conventional wisdom. Such conventional wisdom actually led to the present situation of the public library. If the administrator would do no more than just follow conventional wisdom, then the results would be the same.

For different results, then the administrator has to reject such conventional wisdom and start doing something better than what is conventional. The administrator therefore needs to take a look into the present situation of the public library and implement a plan that would help the employees do their best in improving the situation of the public library. Treating employees, not as mere employees but as individuals is crucial so that they would feel appreciated and more motivated in working for the public library.

The administrator is being watched by employees all the time. As such, the manager should set an example in becoming an effective worker. In this regard, the administrator can start treating other employees well. This will eventually translate to the good treatment of employees to the customers who visit the public library on a daily basis. While the public library only has the government as the investor, it can still enhance its standing in the society by ensuring that the customers are served well. A means to measure the satisfaction of customers should be arrived at.

This may be as simple as conducting surveys among customers and asking them to fill out evaluation forms or asking them outright how they feel about the service they are receiving from the public library. The bottom line is that their perception of the public library will surface. When an understanding of the level of customer satisfaction of the customers has been arrived at, then the public library administrator can devise a strategy towards providing the best service to the customers of the public library (Woodward, 2005).

The twelve questions posed by Buckingham & Coffman (1999) is helpful in helping employees be more aware of their role in the success of the library. At first, the administrator would lead the process of making these questions part of the daily operations of the library. In time, the employees are expected to answer these questions by themselves and make the necessary improvements. These questions being asked by the manager and the employees to themselves is part of the overall plan of ensuring that the customers are satisfied with the service that they receive from the library.

Blanchard & Bowles’ (1993) concept of the Raving Fan may be implemented in the public library. This concept of having raving fans means satisfying the customers so fully that they cannot help but tell other people about the services they receive from the public library. Strategic Planning for the Library What is needed, therefore, is for the administrator to lead the library into a strategic planning session, taking into account the main goals of the library.

This means reviewing the overall plan of action of the library, its situation in the society, the services it offers to its customers and the manner in which it provides services. This process is not simple. In fact, if the administrator is not careful, the library will just go on with its path and whatever business practices it is already following (Goleman, Boyatzis & McKee, 2002). Such strategic plan should take into account new processes, management principles and other factors previously not considered by the library.

This can help reposition the library in the society and enhance its position as a disseminator of information and learning within the community it belongs to. The needs of the readers and researchers in the community will have to be assessed so as to make sure that the services that the library offers is in line with the needs of the public at large. The library provides services to readers and researchers. But the manner in which the needs of these people are going to be met should help create “raving fans. ”

As part of the needs assessment, the books and resources needed by readers and researchers will have to be established. What kinds of topics and subject matters are the researchers using the most? Which authors do they need the most? Do the readers and researchers need computers and other electronic equipment? How can they best access the books and learning materials being offered by the library? Is the ambience and environment of the library conducive to learning and research? These questions and more should be addressed so as to make sure that the customers are getting the services that they deserve.

Surely, if these are satisfactorily complied with, the customers will become satisfied and will recommend the public library to their peers and other people whom they have connection with. The Role of the Public Library Administrator The administrator of the public library has a very important role in making sure that the library enjoys better reception in the community. This also means reorienting the library to become customer-driven. This can be done by knowing that the library is a means of promoting learning and readership among the community.

The customers will be expecting a library full of the books and the resources they need and that it will deliver the services in a way that will make them smile each time they visit the library. I will become an effective manager if I focus on the strengths of the library and then capitalize on that to deal with the perceived weaknesses. This will also help the employees gain confidence with their skills such that they will continue to improve in providing services to the wider populace.

Discovering the strengths of each employee and finding the right place for him or her will also be perceived as an act of empowerment, which will help them become more dedicated in doing their work. Such dedication will, in the long run, translate to better level of customer satisfaction. Conclusion Continuous learning is a part of being a manager. As I graduate, the lessons I learned from the four books mentioned in this paper will be implemented. The principles they cited can be applied in the real world of running a public library.

Although the library may be considered as a boring place to be by a number of people, it has a niche in the society. As long as there are books to be distributed, as long as there are readers and learners, the library will never go out of style. What matters therefore is how the library will address the needs of learners, readers and researchers so that it can become a haven of learning and a sought out place. As a public library administrator, I believe that I will be in a very good position to help people learn and love learning.

References

Blanchard, KH & Bowles, S (1993). Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service. New York: William Morrow. Buckingham, M & Coffman, C (1999). First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently. New York: Simon & Schuster. Goleman, D, Boyatzis, R & McKee, A (2002). Primal Leadership : Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence. Harvard: Harvard University Press. Woodward, JA (2005). Creating the Customer Driven Library: Building on the Bookstore Model. New York: American Library Association.

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