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To the reader


This book contains over 50 separate contributions to the subject of library, archive and information management. In this preliminary section, some brief comments on the material will be provided, so as to make it easier for the reader to select items of particular interest. It may be helpful to look at this section first before plunging into the main part of the book.

The contents of the book are divided into 7 major sections, and subdivided into about 35 topics.


 

1. MANAGEMENT, INFORMATION AND DEVELOPMEMT

1.1 Managing information: to what end?

"On the librarianship of poverty", by K.J. Mchombu.
"Infrastructure for the development of an information policy", by Ermelinda Acerenza and Teresa Castilla.
"The use of archive material of the countries of the socialist community for national economic purposes", by F.I. Dolgih.
"The special utility of archives for the developing world", by Guy Cangah.

Management is not an end in itself. Organizations are managed for a particular purpose. The information section of an organization, whether it be a national archive, a school library or a documentation centre, is supposed to be providing a service which will in some way benefit the organization. It is always tempting for the information manager to follow what seems to be the accepted way of doing things, the way described in professional text-books, or the way things have been done in the past.

MCHOMBU challenges this view. Information policies should not be copied from other countries, he says, but related to the social and economic conditions of the particular country. Speaking particularly of the poorer developing nations, he shows how the policies and practices of information work developed in the richer countries must not simply be taken over and accepted by the poorer ones; their value must be examined critically. A policy for information must then be devised which is relevant to the country concerned.

ACERENZA and CASTILLA start from this point and develop it. They are mainly concerned with the establishment of a national information policy. How can such a policy be established? What are the steps that must be taken to formulate it? The article goes into much useful detail and refers to a number of Unesco documents that have appeared on this subject.

DOLGIH shows how in a centrally-planned economy, information -in this case from archives - can be put to the service of the nation, giving examples from the Soviet Union and other socialist countries.

CANGAH points out that in many developing countries it is the government which is the sole organization able to plan for the development of the country, and it is in the state's own archives that invaluable material is to be found, if it is properly organized. Not simply economic or scientific data are of value, but also historical information, because for younger countries, the study of their history can be a means of creating a better sense of national identity.

1.2 Administration in developing countries

"The scope of management and administration problems in development", by Kenneth J. Rothwell.

Even when our information manager has decided upon suitable and relevant objectives for the information service, there remain problems of putting the principles into practice. Many articles later in the book will deal with this topic. However, the quality of the administration of an information service will depend upon the society of which it is a part. ROTHWELL lists some of the obstacles to efficient administration in developing countries, and is critical of the existing position. He sets out various views about management, some of which we will meet again later in the book.

1.3. Management and the information service

"Organization in general and in principle", by Sigurd Möhlenbrock.
"Management training and background", by G. Edward Evans.
"On library management", by Boleslaw Howorka.
"The library manager", by Charles K. Wambugu.

Many writers on the management of library and information services begin by setting out what they see as the general principles of management and showing how they are applied to most work organizations, including libraries. Four examples are given in this section. MÖHLENBROCK, writing with Swedish libraries in mind, looks at the principles of organization, and at various organizational structures.

EVANS also looks at management, and illustrates his points by reference to libraries. What do managers do?, he asks, and summarises the work of Fayol who tried to answer that question. Henri Fayol, a French industrialist who lived at the beginning of the twentieth century, is often regarded, along with the American Frederick Winslow Taylor, as the founder of modern management. His list of managerial activities - planning, co-ordinating and so on - is still widely quoted. HOWORKA also refers to Fayol's list of activities and he also reviews the various principles of management, but from a Polish, rather than an American viewpoint.

Finally in this section a fourth perspective on the management of information organizations comes from Kenya. WAMBUGU takes up some of the points made by the other three and adds some new ones. Together these contributions give a fair idea of the way management principles and practices can be applied to information organizations.

1.4. How scientific is management?

"Advances in archival management science", by A.P. Kurantov.
"Library administration and new management systems", by Richard De Gennaro.

Is there a best way to manage a library, a section of a library, a documentation centre, a city's archive? The answer may be yes, but there is no agreement on what exactly is the best way. Some see management as a series of techniques which, when mastered, can lead directly to good management. Others, while acknowledging that certain techniques are useful, see management as above all the use of political and personal skills, which derive from people's personality, and so cannot really be formally taught. Moreover, since no two organizations are identical, so the "ideal" form of management will vary from organization to organization.

KURANTOV writes of advances in archival management science in a paper given to a congress of archivists. According to Kurantov the proper application of systematically-acquired knowledge about work and work methods will lead ever more closely to a proper scientific management of archives. The comments which follow this article came from two other members of the conference who refer to Kurantov's paper.

DE GENNARO, a director of a large American university library, speaks of his own experience with management theories and techniques. He declares that most of them are useless for libraries and concludes that good management is much more an art than a science.

1.5. Case study: management of information in China

"Management development and its practice in Chinese library and information services", by Luo Xingyun.

To conclude the first section of the book we reprint an article which describes the evolution of library and information management in China. LUO XINGYUN, the author, reveals how the type of management advocated in China in the 20th century reflected the economic and social system of the period. He places his faith in a form of scientific management for Chinese information services. The four main principles he enunciates differ somewhat from varieties of scientific management found in other countries - it is a specifically Chinese development of the idea - but, says the author, these principles still need refinement.

 

2. MANAGING INFORMATION: INTRODUCTION

In the second section of the book are grouped together a small number of introductory texts which summarise the management aspects of library, archive and information services. Each one serves as an introduction to topics which will be examined in more detail later in the book.

2.1 Management of an information service

"Management and policies of an information unit", by Claire Guinchat and Michel Menou.
"Organizing and operating an information and documentation centre", by Robert Harth.

GUINCHAT and MENOU systematically describe the management tasks of an information unit: planning, organization, the division of labour, evaluating the service, promoting the service, and so on. All of these topics will be treated in more detail in later sections. As a complement to Guinchat and Menou, HARTH summarises the work of an information unit from a slightly different perspective.

2.2 Records management

"Records management", by Michael Cook.

COOK explains the relationship between records management and the traditional archive service, he describes the basic tasks of the record manager and how these will change as automated office equipment becomes more widespread.

 

3. PLANNING THE SERVICE

3.1. Planning

"Specialized problems of practical librarianship: planning", by Hanus Hemola.
"Archive planning", by Bernhard Zittel.

Several of the preceding articles have mentioned planning. Planning is usually considered the first task of the manager. In this third section of the reader we will look at the planning process in information services. To introduce the subject we reprint a short article on library planning in general. We see that planning is, or should be, essential to all information services. HEMOLA states that one can distinguish between long and short term plans. ZITTEL, for his part, examines the planning process in archive work.

3.2 Constraints on planning: the state

"The archives of Argentina: problems and solutions", by César A. García Belsunce.
"Government policies affecting the development and growth of libraries in Southeast Asia", [panel discussion].

From Hemola's article above, it would appear that in Czechoslovakia the plans for the development of library and information services are simply a part of that country's general economic and social planning, but in many countries the state is slow to recognize the importance of information services. For all those information units which are dependent upon the state, the policies of the state are crucial. A good example is to be found in BELSUNCE's article. He states that over the last 200 years periods of vigorous efforts to conserve the nation's documentary resources have alternated with periods of stagnation or neglect. He catalogues the present problems of the archive service, his efforts to secure better legislation for archives and his other plans for the future.

In 1973 there was held a meeting of librarians from Southeast Asia. In one session, after the formal papers had been read, there was an hour's discussion, reproduced here. As we read the discussion we can see how the laws of the various countries affect the library service: one delegate cannot understand how a country which makes librarians personally responsible for their collections can have any kind of active library service at all; another is concerned about the lack of legal deposit legislation; a third speaker notes the effect on libraries when the state pay scales for librarians are set too low, and so on. We can see very clearly from this discussion how the planning of an information service is affected by the laws, decrees, regulations and policies of the state, and also how information professionals may, with persistence, succeed in changing these laws to enable a better library service to be developed.

3.3. Constraints on planning: the local administration

"The library and the political processes", by Phyllis I. Dalton.

While many library, archive and information services are directly dependent upon the state, many others, especially local archives, college libraries and public libraries may be responsible to a unit of local government, such as a city, a county or a province. DALTON begins by saying that the success of a library administrator depends upon an understanding of the political process and an ability to work with it. A city council, local library board, or even a provincial government is somewhat more accessible than a national government, and so the chances of influencing such bodies are that much greater. Dalton talks of the importance of communication with the library's governing body, of public speaking, skilled committee work, knowledge of the local power structure and of the community - all will help, she says, the information manager to obtain funds and improve the service.

3.4. Public relations

"Libraries and the world outside", by K.C. Harrison.
"Public relations in libraries: the Bibliothèque municipale de Lyon, (Lyon City Library)", by J.-L. Rocher.

In the previous article Dalton described how librarians should cultivate the people on the library's governing body. This is one aspect of public relations for information managers, the subject of the next item by HARRISON. Harrison argues that in a world where different agencies compete for funds and for public support, the library, or the archive service, must make sure that its views are known to all those who have influence over the information service.

An example of public relations is used to illustrate this point. ROCHER writes of the public relations activities of the municipal library of Lyon, France. There the initiative came at first from the mayor of the city, who used the occasion of the opening of a new library building to get not only the press, but no less than two European presidents to attend. As a result the library now has its own public relations department to continue the work.

3.5 The needs of users

"User studies in university libraries", by Rocío Herrera C., Libia Lotero M., and Iván Rúa R.

We have seen that the planning of information services will be affected by the policies of national and local governments, and library governing bodies as well as by the political, personal and administrative skills of the information manager. But the information service is above all there to be used, and so more and more in the last twenty years librarians, archivists and documentalists have tried to find out what the users - and the potential users - need from the information service. 'What exactly are their needs? How can these needs be identified? Much effort has been-expanded on trying to answer these questions. HERRERA, LOTERO and RÚA examine the subject in depth and give examples from university libraries.

3.6 Marketing

"Marketing in information work", by Gladys Adda.

The final topic in this section concerns the marketing of information services. Marketing can be regarded as part of the planning process, for a newly established information service may wish to find out what services (e.g. abstracting, translating) are going to be most popular before setting them up. Marketing, like the identification of users' needs, can also be used as a regular part of the information service's operations. Marketing, as defined by Gladys ADDA includes the analysis of users' needs, but goes beyond this to devise methods of publicising the whole range of activities offered by the information service. There are therefore also elements of public relations in marketing as well.

 

4. ORGANIZATION MD CONTROL

All information services need to have some kind of structure and some system for the organization and control of the work. Earlier in this book Guinchat and Menou, and Harth had some brief comments about these matters, and in this section we will be looking at them in more detail.

4.1 Organization and communication

"Organizational structure and communication", by Richard Emery.
"The annual archives report", by Vicenta Cortés Alonso.

Organizational structure and control usually, though not always, assume a hierarchical form, whereby power and responsibility are concentrated at the top. The information unit, if of any size, is divided into a series of departments or sections. In each of these sections a group of people will be engaged in related tasks, or offering similar services. There is, however, much debate about the basis of this kind of sectional organization (see section 4.2 below).

In the first part of EMERY's long contribution, various organizational structures are described and commented on. He then turns to the matter of communication. A communications system is essential for any information service. Indeed the manager is sometimes seen to be primarily a communicator, and most managers, including those in information services, spend more time communicating than doing anything else. Emery describes the methods of communication which can exist in a library and information service, and points out the strengths and weaknesses of each one.

Another way of controlling the operations of an information service is by means of an annual report. CORTÉS describes how such a report can help the archive manager.

4.2 Specialization in information work

"Subject departments in public libraries", by Gábor Mándy.
Subject departments: summary of a debate, by Tibor Horváth and Gábor Mándy.

In his contribution above, Emery talks about the division of labour in libraries. In almost all information services, in fact, some division of labour is practiced, and the staff are to some extent specialists. There is, however, disagreement about the best ways of dividing up the work. One debate turns on whether the work should be organized according to the principal technical operations, or whether it should be organized according to the subjects in the collection, (and other types of division are possible).

To illustrate this question of the division of labour, we take the case of the public library service. In the first contribution MÁNDY reflects on the results of a questionnaire sent to a number of large public libraries in various parts of the world. This survey showed to what extent these libraries practiced the division of labour according to the subject matter of the material in these libraries.

The second contribution concerns a debate on this matter which took place in the pages of a Hungarian library journal. There is no space to reproduce all of the articles which appeared, but we give the first article by HORVÁTH, who initiated the debate, a comment by MÁNDY, and a short comment by HORVÁTH again which concluded the correspondence.

4.3 Centralized or decentralized services?

"Centralization vs. decentralization in university library administration: some reflections", by Paul W. T. Poon.

A further debate concerns the appropriate degree of administrative and geographical centralization for an information service. If users are geographically scattered, should service points be multiplied? If geographically separate departments are established, will the central administration be able to control them? If it is unable to exercise control, is this necessarily a disadvantage? POON gives the pros and cons of this debate, drawing principally upon the experiences of the older German university libraries and American academic libraries.

4.4 Self-management in the information service

"Co-operation between libraries on the basis of the law on associated labour and the library activity and libraries act", by Vera Mudri-Škunca.

The previous items in this section have assumed a traditional hierarchical structure for the information service. In Yugoslavia, however, a system of self-management has been set up in most organizations, including those concerned with information services, and other countries have shown interest in this form of organization. MUDRI-ŠKUNCA shows how the laws of the land have affected the organizational structure of library services and their relations with other organizations.

 

5. MANAGEMENT OF STAFF

More is written about staff management in information services than about any other aspect, and justly so, for the staff of an organization are its most important resource. This section, then, is the longest in the book.

5.1 Personnel administration

"Personnel administration in libraries", by Helen Howard.

We begin with a general account of personnel administration written from a North American viewpoint. HOWARD looks systematically at staff duties, personnel planning, job descriptions, analysis and appraisal, staff training and development, and other topics. She defines the field, and most of the topics she mentions are treated more fully in the following contributions.

5.2 Human relations in personnel administration

"Human relations in administration", by Amor C. Guerrero.

There are many different approaches to personnel administration. If we refer back to Luo Xingyun's article (section 1.5 above) we will see that at the beginning of the 20th century employees in organizations were treated in an authoritarian manner and as mere units of production. In the advanced market economies, in the course of the 20th century, pressure from trade unions and a narrowing of social divisions led to a new approach, dubbed "human relations", in which owners and managers realised that by giving some consideration to the various needs of their employees, productivity or efficiency could actually be improved.

Today in information services a large part of the staff are educated and highly skilled and would resent the cruder forms of exploitation practiced in the past. Nevertheless staff, in information organizations as elsewhere, are sensitive to promotion opportunities, to favouritism, to lack of tact by supervisors and to all those other causes of friction which make them disillusioned with their work or resentful of their status.

To illustrate how modern information management needs to be fair and tactful we reprint the article by GUERRERO who presents some interesting case studies in which human relations skills are put to the test. The case studies also illustrate a common criticism made of this approach, namely that it adopts a purely psychological view of people in organizations, so that people who do not conform to the requirements of the organization are considered to be in some way personally inadequate. By reducing conflicts to nothing more than a matter of personality, this approach may obscure the real causes of conflict.

5.3 Career opportunities

"Career developments of women librarians in New Zealand", by Jan Bierman.
"Women librarians and documentalists in Hungary", by Magda Jobórú

For information services to be successful, they must offer a proper career structure for all staff and adequate salaries. Otherwise staff will feel they are undervalued, will leave the profession and move to other kinds of work.

In some countries it would seem that men are offered an adequate career but women are not. In the last fifteen years a great deal has been written, particularly in the so-called "Anglo-Saxon" countries (United States, Great Britain, Australia, etc.) on the difficulties women face in information work. In the first example BIERMAN shows that in the Auckland area of New Zealand women occupied 80 per cent of library jobs, but only 17 per cent of the most senior librarians' posts. Conversely only 20 per cent of librarians were men but they held 83 per cent of the top jobs.

In other countries such disparities do not seem to occur to anything like the same extent, and the second example, from Hungary (JOBÓRÚ) shows that women are well represented in senior posts. Part of the reason for the better career opportunities for women in a number of European countries may lie in the provision of adequate maternity leave, protection of salary while on leave of absence and good child-caring facilities. All these, in turn, will depend upon the attitude of the state towards working women.

5.4 The job description

"Systems personnel", by Pauline Atherton.

In all but the smallest information units, there will probably be some division of labour, as we have seen. This in turn means that the tasks to be performed must be properly described. In larger information services the description and analysis of the job and of the tasks associated with it become very important, not only to ensure the efficient carrying out of tasks, but also to prevent disputes about who does what task. ATHERTON writes particularly of scientific and technical information work and sets out concisely and systematically a typical way for the organization of tasks and responsibilities.

5.5 Recruiting staff

"Recruitment: filling the gap", by Richard Proctor.

Many information services recruit their staff directly. Recruitment is an important managerial activity. The information service will normally have a specific vacancy in its team of staff which has to be filled, and it is important for the organization to get the right person for the job. PROCTOR sets out the steps to be taken when recruiting new staff.

5.6 Supervising staff

"An overview of supervision in libraries today", by Martha J. Bailey.

In an information service of any size the more senior staff are likely to exercise supervisory powers over the more junior staff. What are the best methods of supervision? What are the main difficulties? What particular skills should the supervisor possess? These and other questions are answered in BAILEY's article.

5.7 Training and developing staff

"The training function in libraries", by Mary Castelyn.

Howard, in section 5.1, has explained why staff need training: as information services change, new skills are needed; also staff may lose interest in performing the same tasks year after year and training will give them the opportunities to develop new skills and so to perform new tasks or move on to greater responsibilities. In her contribution Mary CASTELYN examines all aspects of training in libraries.

5.8 Appraisal of staff

"Another look at performance appraisal in libraries", by G. Edward Evans and Bendict Rugaas.

Most managers of information services expect the staff to work as effectively as possible. Senior managers need to know how well the staff are doing. It is often easy for them to pick up information by hearsay or gossip, but this information may be misleading, biased or quite wrong. So in some countries a formal system of appraising staff has been set up. Staff appraisal is, however, a delicate matter. Most staff do not relish their work being evaluated, especially if such evaluation may adversely affect their chances of salary increases or promotion. EVANS and RUGAAS write on staff appraisal; they compare American practice, where formal annual appraisals are very common, and Scandinavian practice, where they are rarely used. It would appear that from the data that Evans supplies, American librarians consider that performance appraisal is important but that it does not help to correct or improve their performance at work.

5.9 Technical and junior staff

"Library technicians in Australia", by Helen Smeaton.
"Training library assistants in Mauritius", by Marie Benoit.

Most of the literature on staff management of information services is concerned with the more senior staff, that is those who will often have university and professional diplomas. Much less attention has been paid to the more junior staff. Yet the latter perform many of the tasks and are often the staff that users come into contact with most often.

If these people do not consider that they have any career possibilities or any chances for training, then they may lose interest in their work and the information service will suffer. In some countries the middle-level or junior staff are termed "pare-professionals" or "library technicians", and appropriate training and career structures are provided for them; an example is given in SMEATON's paper. BENOIT, in the article which follows, describes what can be done (admittedly with bilateral aid) in a very small country.

5.10 Human problems in information work

"Stress, as experienced by some librarians", by Maurice Payette and Edith Guay.

Despite clear job descriptions, good recruitment policies, skilful supervision and proper training, staff may still have problems. The next contribution shows how staff can experience personal problems as a result of their work. PAYETTE and GUAY, who are both psychologists, identify several causes of stress, some, but not all, being beyond the power of the information service to remedy.

5.11 Participatory management

"Participative management and libraries", by Ana Maria Rezende Cabral.

Previous articles in this book have mentioned that the hierarchical structure typical of organizations in many countries concentrates power at the top. This is not to the taste of many staff in information services, who may be just as well qualified as the director of the service. One attempt to deal with this situation, popular in the United States in the late 1960s and 1970s was to set up some mechanism whereby the other professional staff in the organization had a right to be consulted and to make certain decisions collectively. The term "participatory management" was coined to describe this practice. CABRAL, drawing mainly on the American experience sets out the rationale for this type of management. It will be seen that the approach has the backing of some influential writers on management theory.

5.12 Workers' councils and trade unions

"An open forum for staff representatives", by Theo de Ruiter and Lieuwe de Vries.
"Unions and the public library", by Robert W. Schmidt.
Trade unions and automation: a case study from Denmark, by Mai-Britt Nielsen, Egon Hansen and M.N. Sørensen.

In Europe and elsewhere the inequalities of bureaucratic or hierarchical organizations have also been felt, but in Europe the response has more often been to get the state to pass laws giving certain rights of consultation to employees, or to rely on trade unions. In Western Europe employees of most organizations, including information services often have the legal right to be consulted, and a brief example is given of employees' councils in Netherlands libraries.

The trade unions can affect the management of the information service in many ways. However, the role of trade unions varies greatly round the world. In a few countries trade union activities are banned; in some others the union works very closely with the management and governing body; in the majority of countries unions are both legal and autonomous but their power and their work differ greatly from one country to another, and even within one country. We give just two examples of trade union activity in libraries. In the first the writer, SCHMIDT, presents in a lively way his attempt to form a local branch of a trade union in a New York city library service, and describes the benefits which the branch, once established, was able to secure from an unsympathetic governing body.

In the second example (NIELSEN, HANSEN and SØRENSEN) the writers argue their case about the computerizing of library services. Computerization can become a sensitive issue if information workers believe that automation will worsen their conditions of work. In extreme cases they may fear that as the computer is wheeled in, the librarians will be wheeled out. HANSEN argues for the introduction of automated operations, negotiated through national or local technology agreements. SØRENSEN, on the other hand argues that the question of working conditions is more important.

These two examples, one where a trade union branch is newly established, and one where an established union has to decide its policy on changes which will affect its members, illustrate the diverse roles that the union can play in the information service.

 

6. MANAGEMENT OF FINANCIAL AND PHYSICAL RESOURCES

The manager of a library, information or archive service will be concerned with both money and space. Indeed, these two types of resource are likely to occupy a good deal of the manager's time, and, very often, to be a source of worry as well.

To secure for the information service an adequate budget and adequate premises, the manager needs political and diplomatic skills on the one hand, and technical expertise on the other. The first group of skills have been touched on earlier in the book, and the technical skills required to draw up a budget, or design a building, cannot be examined in depth in this work. We give, however, a few representative examples, beginning with the calculation of costs.

6.1 Budgeting

"Principles and methods of costing", by Odile Bernardin.

If an information service needs staff, it also needs money. Most, though not all information services have a budget, and to the director of the service or the senior assistants usually falls the annual task of preparing a set of requests for money to finance the service for the following year. Whoever prepares the budget will also often have to justify their request. BERNARDIN presents a detailed account of how costs can be calculated and a budget request formulated and justified.

6.2 Security

"Security", by Edmund Berkeley;
"Disasters: can we plan for them? If not, how can we proceed?", by Willman Spawn.

In archives and research libraries many valuable and often irreplaceable documents are stored. It is the responsibility of the managers of such institutions to ensure the proper conservation of this material. The techniques of conserving material are outside the scope of this reader, but the organisation of security is illustrated by BERKELEY and ways of avoiding or dealing with disasters are enumerated by SPAWN. Much useful and practical advice is given here.

6.3 The design of library and archive buildings

"Archive buildings and equipment", by Michel Duchein.
"The open-plan and flexibility", by H. Faulkner-Brown.
"What space for the library? Discussion on the library building", by Jacqueline Gascuel and Marie-Françoise Bisbrouck

For senior librarians and archivists the physical environment of their collections will be a frequent managerial concern. Although many libraries and archives do not operate in special purpose-built premises, they all take up some space, the design of which will affect the quality and efficiency of the service. The technical details of the design of library and archive buildings is a subject which cannot be treated adequately in this reader. Rather than ignore it altogether, however, we reprint three introductory contributions. DUCHEIN gives an introduction to the design of an archive building. FAULKNER-BROWN writes mainly with university libraries in mind, but his general principles can surely be applied with profit to all library buildings.

Finally GASCUEL and BISBROUCK, both of whom had written books on the subject, discuss the topic of library design with one another. Should libraries be housed with other "cultural" activities? What are the design implications of open access? How flexible should the design be? What shape is best? These and other questions will give a taste of the subject to the reader.

It is to be hoped that the three contributions in this reader will give some ideas to an information manager interested in this subject, but for fuller information more specialized works should be consulted.

 

7. EVALUATION AND CHANGE

In the preceding sections we have mostly looked at information services at one point in time. If, however, we were to consider our service over a number of years we would perhaps see it growing, or changing the scope of its activities, or perhaps suffering from lack of money or space. Societies change, the information needs of users change, the kinds of information required change. The information service must respond. If it is to do so, then it must evaluate its work. The final contributions to this reader discuss the whole question of evaluating the service or a particular set of operations.

7.1 Evaluating effectiveness

"Evaluating the effectiveness of a library: a theoretical and methodological framework", by André Cossette.
"On evaluating the effectiveness of school libraries", by R. Lemaire.
"Concepts of library goodness", by Michael K. Buckland.

COSSETTE reviews the principal theories underlying the techniques of evaluation. Drawing mostly on North American examples, he asserts that many of the better attempts to test a library's effectiveness have been quite successful. He considers that the managerial approach called systems analysis provides a theoretical foundation for these studies in library effectiveness.

Cossette's article aroused the interest of a French writer (LEMAIRE). He argues that the facts and statistics collected by these investigations do not necessarily mean anything because the objectives of a library are a matter of debate, not of undisputed fact. He is also critical of Cossette's systems approach, with which he has little sympathy. Lemaire's critique is illustrated by examples from school libraries, and includes, for example, a critical comment on "users' needs".

The final contribution in this section is by BUCKLAND. His short article is exploratory, though he writes as someone who has tried to evaluate systematically the value of a library service to users. The disagreements and debates surrounding this topic suggest that it is no easy matter to evaluate the worth of an information service, or rather that any attempt to evaluate the service as a whole will rest on a number of arbitrary assumptions about the objective of the service, a matter on which there is unlikely to be universal agreement.

7.2 Evaluation: specific examples

"The management study", by Richard M. Dougherty and Fred J. Heinritz.
"A cost-analysis of cataloguing at the Universiti Sains Malaysia Library for 1975", by Lim Chee Hong.
"Performance measures for public libraries", by Donald E.K. Wijasuriya.

If it is very difficult to measure the effectiveness of an information service as a whole, it is easier to study the effectiveness of a particular library operation, for here difficult questions about the purpose of the whole information service can be put on one side.

Two American exponents of scientific management (see sections 1.4 and 1.5) demonstrate in the next item how to go about a "management study" (DOUGHERTY and HEINRITZ). By management study they mean the systematic analysis of a series of operations in the information service. Their own clear description of the steps to be taken gives a good idea of how one can review the workings of the various operations and services of a library.

A still more specific example is provided by LIM CHEE HONG. The author shows how the costs of a library's cataloguing section can be measured. Though other information services may catalogue differently, the methods which he describes can be applied in any information service. We may note that in this, as in most library operations, most of the costs are staff costs, and so any increase in "productivity" per member of staff which can be achieved will have a distinct effect on the figures.

WIJASURIYA considers that there is a constant need for the assessment or reassessment of the services provided by the information service - in his case Malaysian public libraries. He shows that the traditional set of standards which have been devised in Malaysia, as in many other countries, does not measure the "performance" of an information service, and proposes the use of "output" measures. By these he means the measurement of the service's actual performance to its community. He admits, though, that these measures of output are difficult to establish.


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