Friday, January 17, 2014

CONCEPT, DEFINITION AND SCOPE OF LIBRARY MANAGEMENT P- 12. Management of Libraries and Information Centres & Knowledge Centres * By :PK gupta

इस ब्लॉग्स को सृजन करने में आप सभी से सादर सुझाव आमंत्रित हैं , कृपया अपने सुझाव और प्रविष्टियाँ प्रेषित करे , इसका संपूर्ण कार्य क्षेत्र विश्व ज्ञान समुदाय हैं , जो सभी प्रतियोगियों के कॅरिअर निर्माण महत्त्वपूर्ण योगदान देगा ,आप अपने सुझाव इस मेल पत्ते पर भेज सकते हैं -


P- 12. Management of Libraries and Information Centres & Knowledge Centres *

By :PK gupta

0. Introduction

Management refers to series of functions for the organisation and administration of various activities and people in the organisation. If we study the working of the existing organisations all over the world, some are highly successful, some are striving hard for success while some are unsuccessful. There are certain factors influencing their success. Mangers apply the principles of management which are universal in character. They plan, organize, integrate and inter–relate organizational activities and resources for the purpose of accomplishing the objectives.

Management is essential for all types of organisation and libraries are no exception. Management techniques in libraries have their origin in mid 1950’s. Prior to this, libraries had very limited financial resources and limited services. Now libraries exist in great variety. These vary in size, goals, structural pattern, financial resources, staff and many other characteristics. From management point of view, these very in management style, morale of the staff, environment for innovation etc. Now a variety of information and communication technologies are available as means to improve library services and operations.

Good management leads to efficiency, quality, economy and satisfaction. Library managers have attempted to adopt proven principles of management from the non-library world which were considered to contribute to the successful operation of their libraries. The libraries are non-profit organisations and their objective is to provide consistent, effective and efficient products and services to the clients. The importance of management to libraries has grown over the years as libraries have become larger in terms of size, collections, budgets and staff. There is an obvious need for management skills at the level of Chief Librarian in the large academic or public libraries. Complexity of library services and variety of forms of documents in the special libraries also has paved way for application of principles of scientific management in these libraries.

But it is not only the librarians of large libraries who need to possess the managerial skills. The demands of every librarian’s managerial ability have become large and more complex in recent years. Most Librarians in the modern libraries are managers and they also need to know how to manage. Today librarians are facing greater challenges than ever before, resulting from increased competition and ever changing technologies. As such the management techniques are required to be applied in all types and sizes of libraries in all parts of the world at large.

1. Concept of Management

The term ‘Management’ is used in a variety of  ways.  Being a new discipline, it has  drawn  concepts and  principles form a number of disciplines such as  economics,  sociology, statistics etc. The result is that each group of contributors has treated management differently. The economists have treated it as a factor of production, while the sociologists have treated it as a group of persons. They have viewed the nature and scope of management differently. According to L.M. Prasad, the term ‘Management’ is used in three alternative ways as under:

(i)                  Management as a Discipline
A discipline refers to well defined concepts and principles. Management as a discipline includes relevant concepts and   principles, the knowledge of which helps in managing. From this point of view, management can be treated as either science or art. Since management prescribes various principles and these can be applied in managing an organisation, it has the orientation of both science  and art.

(ii)               Management as a Group  of people
The group of people includes all those persons who perform managerial functions in the organisation. When we talk of relationship between management and labour in the organisation, we refer to two different groups of people, i.e. managerial and non-managerial personnel. This approach of management is quite popular.

(iii)             Management as a Process
A process can be defined as systematic method of handling activities. But management process  can be treated as a complex one which  can be  referred to as  an identifiable flow of  information through  inter-related  stages of  analysis  directed towards the achievement of an objective or set of objectives. Thus management as a process includes various activities and sub-activities. In a simple way, we can define management as what managers do. Since management involves two groups-operational and managerial, management can be defined as the process of getting things done by others.
 Keeping in view the above mentioned factors various concepts of management can be listed as under -

(a) Management by Communication
The primary function of a manager is to formulate policies and implement them effectively which require oral or written communication with the staff. Manager spends majority of his time in communicating for getting the work done from others. Communication is a continuous, coordinated process of telling, listening and understanding. Success of management depends upon effective communication.

(b) Management by system
 It is concept of identifying the problems, solving  them  through various  possible  alternatives and  making the generalization for the future. Management by systems refers to indentifying the problem and analyzing it; collecting relevant data and analyzing the same; finding out various viable alternatives; testing them and finally selecting the best one. Subsequently review is done from time to time and corrective action is taken, if necessary.

(c) Management by Results
       According to this concept, the progress of the organisation is evaluated periodically in order to ascertain the results achieved. The end-results are significant and determine the success and strength of the management. The management should be result oriented.

(d) Management by Participation
 It is also known as ‘Participative Management’.  The workers in the organisation are given opportunity in the decision making process also. It involves the doctrine of trusteeship. Management by participation creates a sense of involvement among the workers. The workers can very well appreciate the problems and bottle-necks in the system. They can also realize the practical problems involved in the system and thus take realistic decision in the organisation.

(e) Management by Motivation
            Inspiring the workers in the organisation for accomplishing of the objectives is called motivation. If the target is achieved, the workers are given due credit, reward and benefits. It acts as an encouragement for the future too. Management is nothing but to motivate people towards the accomplishment of the work as per objectives of the organisation concerned.

(f) Management by Exception
Normally the routine work is performed by the workers in the organisation without any problem. But at certain times, exceptional difficult situation arises in the organisation when the management has to take drastic steps to achieve the goals. A good management can manage very well during the exceptional and difficult circumstances also. This is also one dimension of management.

(g) Management by Objectives (MBO)
             This concept was propounded by Peter F. Drucker. It is important to plan the objectives of the organisation before placing them before the decision making body for approval. The manager has to get the work done as per objectives of the organisation. It is a dynamic system which is demanding and rewarding style of management. Most of the industrial and commercial organisations follow MBO. Libraries are, these days, adopting and following this concept in order to provide library and information services to the clients, and thus accomplish the objectives.

1.1 Management: Science or Art

According to Koontz, “Science” is organized knowledge. The essential features of any science are the application of the scientific method to the development of knowledge. Thus a science comprises clear concepts, theory and other accumulated knowledge developed from hypotheses, experimentation and analysis.

Management has clear concepts. It has principles of scientific management. It makes use of scientific methods in involving principles. According to L.M. Prasad, Science may contribute to the solution of managerial problems in two ways :
(i)                 Existing  research  and theory relevant to the problem may be  brought  to bear on its  solution, and
(ii)                Where sufficient time is available, research may be conducted to provide information not previously available and to guide solution accordingly. To be a successful manager, a person requires the knowledge of management principles and also the skills of how the knowledge can be utilized. Absence of either will result in inefficiency. As such, management can be termed as science.

Management can be regarded as an ‘Art’ also. L.M. Prasad is of the opinion that the meaning of art is related with the  bringing of a desired  result through  the  application  of skills. Whereas under ‘science’, one learns the ‘why’ of a phenomenon; under ‘Art’, one learns the “how” of it. Art is thus concerned with the understanding of how particular work  can be  accomplished. So management is an art because it can be applied effectively for solving various organizational problems from situation to situation.

Thus it is evident that management has the characteristic of ‘Science’ as well as ‘Art’. Management has proven principles based on advances of knowledge. At the same time, the process of management does involve the use of know-how and skills like any  other art. It has creativity like any other art. Every manager has individual approach and technique in solving the problems, which is the characteristic of art. Hence management is ‘Science’ or ‘Art’ both.

1.2 Management and Administration

Some authors have stated that management and administration are two different terms, while others have suggested that there is no difference between the two. Various views expressed in this regard have led to the emergence of the following  three approaches:
(i)                 Administration is Above Management
Some classical thinkers like Oliver Sheldon, are of the view  that administration relates to the policy formation and management relates to the policy  execution and as  such these two  activities are  not the same. But Henry Fayol, who studied the entire management functions never distinguished between management and administration. These are like two sides of the same coin.
(ii)               Administration is a Part of Management :  There is  another  school of thought, including E.F.L. Brech, who treat  management as more comprehensive  function  which includes administration also. If this view is accepted, administration becomes a subordinate function to overall management functions. From this point of view, administration is concerned with day to day function and is a part of management. But this version reverses the stand of the classical thinkers. It does not hold the validity in the present day scenario.
(iii)               Management and Administration are same:  According to  third approach, which  is most popular and practical one, management and administration are same. Both involve the same functions, principles and objectives. Henry Fayol, one of the most important thinkers of management, is of the view that all undertakings require planning, organisation, command, coordination and control. Thus, there is no difference between management and administration. Both are same. The difference between the two terms lies mostly in their usage in different countries or different fields of human organisations. It becomes unimportant whether policy formulation function is known as administration or management. Basically both terms are same.

1.3 Definition of Management

According to Frederick W. Taylor, “Management is the art of knowing what you want to do in the best and cheapest way”. He has emphasized the work and not the workers of the organisation. He opines that men and machines are similar for achieving the goal of getting the things done in the best possible way and at least cost. This is applicable in the case of all types of libraries, especially where we intend to provide  best possible  library service  at the least cost.
            John Mee has defined ‘Management’ in terms of securing maximum results. According to him, “Management is the art of securing maximum results with minimum efforts so as to secure maximum prosperity and happiness for both employer and employee and give the public the best possible service.”       This definition is aptly applicable for libraries also, where the objective is to provide best possible service to the clientele to their fullest satisfaction.

According to G. Edward Evans, “Management means to control and direct the operation of an organisation or a sub-division of a larger unit”.  Supervision will only be used to indicate the control and direction of a small unit on a day to day first hand basis. But no matter which word is used, the definition of management includes two concepts: firstly, accomplishing certain defined activities and secondly, the people who accomplish the work. The balancing of activities and people becomes the task of the manager.

The definition given by Glueck is more relevant to the library management. According to him, “Management is effective utilization of human and material resources to achieve the enterprise’s objectives.” Libraries and information centres have professional staff as well as variety of document and resources to provide information to the end users of these organizations. The target is to achieve the objectives of the libraries at large.

As quoted by Robert D. Stueart and Barbara B. Moran, early in the twentieth century, Mary Follett had defined management as - “The art of getting things done through people”. This definition is still relevant because of the things we know about management is that it is impossible for anyone to manage alone. Managers have to use the skill and labour of others to succeed and thus, for them,  interpersonal skills are extremely important . Regardless of the type of organisation or the level of management, the functions of planning, organizing, human resource, leading and controlling are essential to all managers.

 It is obvious that in the libraries and information centres also, the librarian gets the work done from the professional and non-professional staff, which involves managerial skills.

 Stueart and Moran have stated that the basic essence of management is using organizational resources, staffing, leading and controlling. Managers are those individuals within an organisation who are in a position to make the decisions that allow an organisation to reach its objectives. They work to ensure that these objectives are reached both effectively and efficiently. This definition is applicable to all types of libraries and information centres without any exception. The librarians also use the organizational resources in order to achieve the objectives through careful planning, organizing, staffing, leading and controlling.

As per ALA Glossary of Library and Information Science, “Management may be defined as the process of coordinating the total  resources of an  organisation towards the accomplishment of the desired goals of that organization through the execution of a group of inter-related  functions such as  planning, organizing staffing, directing and controlling”. This definition explains that the management is a process of coordination among various resources through different functions in order to achieve the objectives of an organisation.

Harold Koontz has defined management in the following words - “Management is the process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals work with such performance for optimizing efficiency in reaching goals”. According to him, environment is a basic factor beyond all resources to work efficiently in the organization. In a library also, we have three essential components i.e. documents, staff  and the users  which  require  a congenial environment for  efficient performance of  the staff  in order  to achieve goal to  serve the library users to  their maximum satisfaction.

In spite of these various definitions, it has become very difficult to formulate a single, comprehensive and universally acceptable definition of library management. But all the above mentioned definitions are relevant, meaningful and appropriate in different contexts. These are the reflections of different experts and their perspectives.

2. Characteristics of Management

Some of the most common and significant characteristics of management are given below -
(i)              Management is a distinct process in which work is got done through planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling by the manager.
(ii)            Management is an organized activity.  
(iii)           Management aims at the accomplishment of pre-determined objectives.
(iv)           Management is a group activity, and it cannot be done in isolation.
(v)            Management principles are universal in nature, which are applicable to all types of organization.
(vi)           Management integrates human and other resources including financial resources.
(vii)          Management is a skill of getting things done though people.
(viii)         Management has a distinctive significance which differs from ownership.                   
(ix)          Management is essential at different levels of organization.
(x)           Management principles are dynamic in nature.
(xi)          Management is a system of authority.
(xii)         Management utilizes a multi-disciplinary approach (which includes economics, statistics, industrial and human psychology, computer science, engineering, accountancy, sociology, etc.)

3. Scope of Management

Management is multi-disciplinary in nature and its scope  is very wide as it  includes human  resources, financial resources, infrastructural resources and technological resources. It involves scientific management based on sound principles. Management is applicable in all types of organizations which include the industries, hospitals, offices, commercial organizations, educational institutions, scientific and technical laboratories, museums, archives, airlines, roadways, railways, libraries, information centres, and so on.  But it is concerned with getting the work done from the people efficiently and economically.

4. Functions of Management / Manager

Different management thinkers have given different functions of management, to be performed by the managers of different types of organizations.
Some of the important views are given below -
            (a)                Henry Fayol, Father of Classical School of Management,  has given the following managerial functions -
(i)                Planning
(ii)               Organizing
(iii)              Command
(iv)              Coordination and control
            (b)                Newman and Summer  have suggested the  following functions of management
(i)                 Planning
(ii)                Organizing
(iii)               Leading
(iv)                Measuring  and controlling
            (c)                Stueart and  Moran  have formulated  the following five  functions of management
(i)                 Planning
(ii)                Organizing
(iii)               Human Resource
(iv)               Leading
(v)                Controlling

            (d)                Luther Gulick has given the following seven functions of management and coined its acronym as “POSDCORB”. Brief explanations of these  functions are given  below :

(i)                 Planning : It  requires wide knowledge and experience to make blue print of the work to be performed. Planning is the most basic function to be performed by the manager. In libraries also, very careful planning is required for the successful fulfillment of the requirements of the users (clients). This is considered as the most important managerial function.

(ii)                Organizing: It involves choosing the design, suggesting the structure, space planning and allocation of the jobs. It also includes determining the specific activities, grouping the activities into a logical framework, assigning these activities to specific positions and coordinating the efforts of individuals and groups. Flow-chart is prepared, if necessary. This function is also applicable for managing all types of libraries and information centres.

(iii)              Staffing : This function  is also known as ‘Human Resource Management’ or  ‘Personnel Management’. Role of staff or workers is very significant in all types of organisations. In case of Libraries, perhaps it is the most important. A library may have excellent building, rich collections and nice infrastructure, but it cannot  achieve the goal of satisfying the clients (users) if its staff is not well qualified, trained, devoted  and adequate.

(iv)              Directing: Giving directions or instructions or advice to the staff to perform the work accurately, efficiently and appropriately is known by the managerial function, ‘Directing’.  This is a continuous process and applicable to individual workers as well as group of people in the organisation. This is more applicable in the libraries where highly technical work is performed in various sections of the libraries.

(v)                Coordinating: It means inter-relating or co-relating various parts of the organisation in order to achieve harmonious operation and avoiding over-lapping or duplication of work or efforts. It ensures maximum contribution by all the units of the organisation in a systematic way. In the  libraries, coordination is  required  in the  working  of all sections so that there is  no  confusion, overlapping or missing links  at any  stage and  work is  got done  promptly and  efficiently.

(vi)             Reporting : Keeping  all the staff members, sections, supervisors and the  parent bodes informed of the  work completed, work  in progress and work to be done  in the near future, is called ‘Reporting’. It helps to avoid any confusion, misunderstanding, gaps or over doing from any front. In the libraries too, it is through the reporting that a Chief Librarian informs the higher authorities about the performance and need of the library from to time to time.
(vii)           Budgeting:  Rough estimate of income and expenditure of an organisation for a given period is called budget. It is a forecast of the organisation. Financial resources are the most important part of any institution. It is equally applicable to all types of libraries as well. Careful planning of budget, accounting and control thereof is essential for efficient functioning of a library.

In addition to the above mentioned managerial functions, the following two additional functions are also being practised in the organisations these days.

            (i)                 Leading: It refers to providing positive and dynamic  leadership, which is an  elusive quality. At times, the term “Manager” and “Leader” are treated as synonyms, but they are not the same. Leadership in just one aspect of what a manger does.

            (ii)               Controlling: As discussed by many thinkers of management, controlling includes control of everything and everyone in the organization. It leads to direction. The libraries, various higher bodies, parent bodies, library committees etc. exercise the function of controlling.

6 Levels of Management in Libraries

Manager can be categorized in a number of ways.  Most commonly we think of them in vertical hierarchy. They occur at all levels of the organisation, but the one nearer to the top have broader responsibilities and authority than those at lower levels.  According to Stueart and Moran, various organisations including libraries have three levels of management as under   :

(i)                  Top Management: It includes directors, associate directors and assistant directors in the large libraries. They are responsible to set policies for the entire organisation and are responsible  for its overall  management.  They act as leaders and have wide powers as well as responsibilities.

(ii)                Middle Management:  They are in–charge of specific sub-units of the organization. In the libraries, they are heads of the department or Branch Librarians. Their responsibilities are confirmed to the successful functioning of the department concerned. They also serve as liaisons between top management and supervisors.

(iii)              First Line Supervisors:  They act as supervisors of the junior staff and lead the  activities of individual  workers  in carrying  out the  day to day work  of the organisation/library. These managers implement the procedures and processes that allow their units to work effectively and efficiently.
But the above mentioned hierarchy in the management is being distributed more widely throughout the organisation these days. This change can be seen in all types of organisations including libraries and information centres. The emphasis is being given to team work now-a-days.

6.1 Qualities of an Effective Manager

 An effective manager is one who is positive in his personality.  L.M. Prasad has quoted the following characteristics of an effective manager.
Most Descriptive
 Least Descriptive 
Self -Starting

The above mentioned most descriptive qualities are  essential  for an effective manager. But least descriptive qualities are also necessary because these many contribute indirectly to the  effectiveness of the  manager.

6.2 Managerial Role

A role can be defined as an expected set of behaviours and activities. Henry Mintzberg observed that a manager performs a variety of roles which he has grouped in the following three broad categories:
(i)                 Interpersonal Roles: Top managers serve as symbols of the organisation itself. They also play the role as leaders. As part of this role they motivate, communicate with and inspire the individuals with whom they work. They act as figurehead and keep liaisons both inside and outside the organisation.
(ii)                Information Roles: In the present day society, information is the most  important  for any type  of organisation. The  managers play the role of a monitor and  always  seek  information, which  they  disseminate to those who  need it. They act as a spokespersons of the organisation and transmit the official information of the organisation to the outside world by means of memos, speeches,  newsletter and other methods of communication.
(iii)              Decision Making Roles: Mangers spend lot of time in decision making, resources allocation, conflict resolutions and crisis handling. They act as disturbance handlers and negotiators. Managers also play the role of entrepreneur when they work to  introduce innovation into the organisation. They also make necessary changes, if necessary, in the fast changing environment.
             In the libraries and information centres also the top level managers invariably play all the above mentioned roles. Middle level managers also perform many of these roles as part of their managerial activities. Thus the roles of the managers are often challenging.

7. Conclusion

Good management is critical to the success of all organisations. Libraries are no exception to it. The Librarians of the future will be working in environments that will continue to be turbulent and fast changing. According to Peter Vaill, “Managers need to be prepared  to confront a period of chaotic change”.  He calls it permanent ‘white water’. According to him, management of organisations used to be like a pleasant boat riding down a calm, quiet river, but the future will be different. It will be full of rapids, whirlpools, eddies and endless white water. The Libraries need to have experienced and trained managers in order to ensure the success of the Libraries and information centres of the future.
The effective library managers and their effective managing will inevitably lead to achievement of the goals of the libraries and satisfaction of the end-users of the libraries. New technologies have been developed and are available as a means to improve library services and operations. In the present context, application of management techniques has acquired added significance. We need good managers who can manage libraries, respond well to fulfill the objectives. Libraries are very costly ventures. Costs must be justified by providing effective and efficient services through efficient and effective management.


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