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 - chandrashekhar.malav@yahoo.com

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### OPERATIONS RESEARCH

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

##### By :PK gupta

## Multiple Choice Question

##
0 / 1 Points

0 / 1 Points

### Question 1: Multiple Choice

##
In operations research, the ----------------------------------------are prepared for situations.
- mathematical models
- physical models diagrammatic
- diagrammatic models

1 / 1 Points

In operations research, the ----------------------------------------are prepared for situations.

- mathematical models
- physical models diagrammatic
- diagrammatic models

1 / 1 Points

### Question 2: Multiple Choice

##
Operations management can be defined as the application of ------------------------------------------to a problem within a system to yield the optimal solution.
- Suitable manpower
- mathematical techniques, models, and tools
- Financial operations

0 / 1 Points

Operations management can be defined as the application of ------------------------------------------to a problem within a system to yield the optimal solution.

- Suitable manpower
- mathematical techniques, models, and tools
- Financial operations

0 / 1 Points

### Question 3: Multiple Choice

##
Operations research is based upon collected information, knowledge and advanced study of various factors impacting a particular operation. This leads to more informed -------------------------------------.
- Management processes
- decision making
- procedures

1 / 1 Points

Operations research is based upon collected information, knowledge and advanced study of various factors impacting a particular operation. This leads to more informed -------------------------------------.

- Management processes
- decision making
- procedures

1 / 1 Points

### Question 4: Multiple Choice

##
OR can evaluate only the effects of --------------------------------------------------.
- Personnel factors.
- Financial factors
- numeric and quantifiable factors.

**2 / 4 PointsFinal Score:**

OR can evaluate only the effects of --------------------------------------------------.

- Personnel factors.
- Financial factors
- numeric and quantifiable factors.

**2 / 4 PointsFinal Score:**

## True-False

##
0 / 1 Points

0 / 1 Points

### Question 1: True or False

##
By constructing models, the problems in libraries increase and cannot be solved.
True
False
1 / 1 Points

By constructing models, the problems in libraries increase and cannot be solved.

True

False

1 / 1 Points

### Question 2: True or False

##
Operations Research started just before World War II in Britain with the establishment of teams of scientists to study the strategic and tactical problems involved in military operations.
True
False
1 / 1 Points

Operations Research started just before World War II in Britain with the establishment of teams of scientists to study the strategic and tactical problems involved in military operations.

True

False

1 / 1 Points

### Question 3: True or False

##
OR can be applied only to those aspects of libraries where mathematical models can be prepared.
True
False
1 / 1 Points

OR can be applied only to those aspects of libraries where mathematical models can be prepared.

True

False

1 / 1 Points

### Question 4: True or False

##

The main limitation of operations research is that it often ignores the human element in the production process.
True
False
**3 / 4 PointsFinal Score:**

The main limitation of operations research is that it often ignores the human element in the production process.

True

False

**3 / 4 PointsFinal Score:**

## Fill in the blanks

##
Unmarked / 1 Points

Unmarked / 1 Points

### Question 1: Open Ended

##
In operations research, better decisions and increased control over library operations can -------------------------------------------------------.
**Feedback:** Ans:-reduce organizational costs.
Unmarked / 1 Points

In operations research, better decisions and increased control over library operations can -------------------------------------------------------.

**Feedback:**Ans:-reduce organizational costs.

Unmarked / 1 Points

### Question 2: Open Ended

##
Operations research depends heavily on --------------------------------------------------.
**Feedback:** Ans:-systems and computing techniques
Unmarked / 1 Points

Operations research depends heavily on --------------------------------------------------.

**Feedback:**Ans:-systems and computing techniques

Unmarked / 1 Points

### Question 3: Open Ended

##
Operations research is an important ------------------------------------which can aid the library managers in effectively using all available--------------------.
**Feedback:** Ans:-management tool, resources
Unmarked / 1 Points

Operations research is an important ------------------------------------which can aid the library managers in effectively using all available--------------------.

**Feedback:**Ans:-management tool, resources

Unmarked / 1 Points

### Question 4: Open Ended

##
The approach to operations research is that of the---------------------------------.
**Feedback:** Ans:-scientific method.
**0 / 4 PointsFinal Score:**

The approach to operations research is that of the---------------------------------.

**Feedback:**Ans:-scientific method.

**0 / 4 PointsFinal Score:**

## 2. OBJECTIVES

##

After reading this module, you will be able to:
- Describe the need, purpose and role of Operations Research (OR) in an information organisation;
- Understand characteristics of OR;
- Get an insight into the OR development process;
- Explain the advantages and disadvantages of OR; and
- Establish role of OR in Libraries and information organisations.

After reading this module, you will be able to:

- Describe the need, purpose and role of Operations Research (OR) in an information organisation;
- Understand characteristics of OR;
- Get an insight into the OR development process;
- Explain the advantages and disadvantages of OR; and
- Establish role of OR in Libraries and information organisations.

## 3. INTRODUCTION

##

An operation is a pattern of activity of men and machines, engaged in carrying out a cooperative and usually repetitive task, with pre-set goals and according to specified rules of operation. The scientific study of operations is called operations research (OR).
Libraries and information organisations, like any other organisation require competent management. The present day libraries are complex systems and require sophisticated management. Operations research is an important management tool which can aid the library managers in effectively using all available resources. OR, having a set of analytical tools enables researchers to understand library and information activities and services in a better manner.
Operations research is a branch of applied mathematics that helps in making better decisions given resource constraints. This field first emerged during WWII and has evolved to encompass numerous analytical techniques. Areas that lend themselves to OR techniques besides the library and information organisations are manufacturing, logistics (especially airlines), health care and materials transportation. The right technique when applied to real-life problems can deliver significant values and insights to planners and policy makers who have to make decisions.
Operational Research (OR) looks at an organisation's operations and the functions it exists to perform. The objective of Operational Researchers is to work with users to find practical and pragmatic solutions to operational or strategic problems.

An operation is a pattern of activity of men and machines, engaged in carrying out a cooperative and usually repetitive task, with pre-set goals and according to specified rules of operation. The scientific study of operations is called operations research (OR).

Libraries and information organisations, like any other organisation require competent management. The present day libraries are complex systems and require sophisticated management. Operations research is an important management tool which can aid the library managers in effectively using all available resources. OR, having a set of analytical tools enables researchers to understand library and information activities and services in a better manner.

Operations research is a branch of applied mathematics that helps in making better decisions given resource constraints. This field first emerged during WWII and has evolved to encompass numerous analytical techniques. Areas that lend themselves to OR techniques besides the library and information organisations are manufacturing, logistics (especially airlines), health care and materials transportation. The right technique when applied to real-life problems can deliver significant values and insights to planners and policy makers who have to make decisions.

Operational Research (OR) looks at an organisation's operations and the functions it exists to perform. The objective of Operational Researchers is to work with users to find practical and pragmatic solutions to operational or strategic problems.

## 4. HISTORY OF OR

##
Operations Research started just before World War II in Britain with the establishment of teams of scientists to study the strategic and tactical problems involved in military operations. The objective was to find the most effective utilisation of limited military resources by the use of quantitative techniques. It was adopted by the industry after the World War II. The initial applications of operations research to industry were extensions of those applied to the military, and the results in the private sector were mixed. The objective was to find the most effective utilisation of limited military resources by the use of quantitative techniques. There were, however, enough successes to draw attention to the field. By the mid-1950s, operations research had received considerable publicity, and it soon became a familiar phrase in the vocabulary of management.

During the 1960s, operations research was introduced in universities as part of course on industrial engineering or management. It was found that in many respects, operations research was similar to ‘scientific management,’ which had earlier been pioneered by Fredr- ick Taylor, Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, and many others. Management schools too followed suit and incorporated operations research into their curriculum

After the 1990s, OR has grown to a large extent due to wide use of computers in organisations as it has become very easy to prepare mathematical models with the help of computers. Manufacturers used operations research to make products more efficiently, schedule equipment maintenance, and control inventory and distribution. And success in these areas led to expansion into strategic and financial planning and into such diverse areas as criminal justice, education, meteorology, and communications.

India, after it got independence, was one of the first countries to start utilising operations research. CSIR’s Regional Research Laboratory at Hyderabad in 1949 established the first Operational Research Unit in the country. Similarly at the same time, the Defence Science Laboratory set up a unit to take care of its planning, stores and purchase issues. The Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta established an Operations Research Unit in 1953. The Operations Research Society of India was setup in 1955. Presently, the utilisation of OR techniques is in many government departments, military operations, industry, etc. A large number of universities in India are also offering formal degrees in operations research.

Operations Research started just before World War II in Britain with the establishment of teams of scientists to study the strategic and tactical problems involved in military operations. The objective was to find the most effective utilisation of limited military resources by the use of quantitative techniques. It was adopted by the industry after the World War II. The initial applications of operations research to industry were extensions of those applied to the military, and the results in the private sector were mixed. The objective was to find the most effective utilisation of limited military resources by the use of quantitative techniques. There were, however, enough successes to draw attention to the field. By the mid-1950s, operations research had received considerable publicity, and it soon became a familiar phrase in the vocabulary of management.

During the 1960s, operations research was introduced in universities as part of course on industrial engineering or management. It was found that in many respects, operations research was similar to ‘scientific management,’ which had earlier been pioneered by Fredr- ick Taylor, Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, and many others. Management schools too followed suit and incorporated operations research into their curriculum

After the 1990s, OR has grown to a large extent due to wide use of computers in organisations as it has become very easy to prepare mathematical models with the help of computers. Manufacturers used operations research to make products more efficiently, schedule equipment maintenance, and control inventory and distribution. And success in these areas led to expansion into strategic and financial planning and into such diverse areas as criminal justice, education, meteorology, and communications.

India, after it got independence, was one of the first countries to start utilising operations research. CSIR’s Regional Research Laboratory at Hyderabad in 1949 established the first Operational Research Unit in the country. Similarly at the same time, the Defence Science Laboratory set up a unit to take care of its planning, stores and purchase issues. The Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta established an Operations Research Unit in 1953. The Operations Research Society of India was setup in 1955. Presently, the utilisation of OR techniques is in many government departments, military operations, industry, etc. A large number of universities in India are also offering formal degrees in operations research.

## 4.1 OR in Libraries and Information Organisations

##
The application of operations research methods in libraries started in the early 1960s. Philip M. Morse at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was first one to develop interest in libraries. He used the library of MIT as a convenient laboratory for student projects in the operations research program
The National Science Foundation was one of the first foundations that supported much of the early work in the United States and was the major factor in influencing operations researchers to address the problems of libraries.
The early efforts focused on traditional areas of library operations, particularly those that required a minimum understanding of library science. The work at Purdue began in 1962 with an internally funded operations research study of the university’s libraries. Later, the work received funding from the National Science Foundation. An important feature of the Purdue work was the extensive involvement of the librarians.
The work done by** **the Leimkuhler group at Purdue was probably the most significant, both in terms of impact, size and duration. The Industrial Engineering School at Purdue had a good working relation- ship with the Purdue University Libraries.
The activities at Purdue continued to expand in the late 1960s, eventually touching on almost all aspects of library operations. The scope of the research activity ranged from course projects to doctoral dissertations. Leimkuhler identified a dozen operations research theses completed at Purdue by 1971 which related to libraries.
Activities at other institutions followed the general pattern observed at Purdue. Starting in the early 1960s, there was a decade full of library activity. By the end of the period, most aspects of library operations had been investigated.
The study of library operations research started changing in the early 1970s. By 1975, most of the research activity had shifted from operations research units to libraries or library schools. Most of the library schools started including operations research in their curriculum. As librarians and information scientists started applying operations research methodology, it became more difficult to distinguish operations research studies from other quantitative library research. By the mid-l970s, bibliometrics became an accepted term to describe quantitative research on libraries. Much of the research which would have been called operations research in the 1960s was called bibliometrics by the late 1970s. Bibliometrics, however, did not replace the library operations research and the trend to apply operations research in libraries has been continuing since then.

The application of operations research methods in libraries started in the early 1960s. Philip M. Morse at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was first one to develop interest in libraries. He used the library of MIT as a convenient laboratory for student projects in the operations research program

The National Science Foundation was one of the first foundations that supported much of the early work in the United States and was the major factor in influencing operations researchers to address the problems of libraries.

The early efforts focused on traditional areas of library operations, particularly those that required a minimum understanding of library science. The work at Purdue began in 1962 with an internally funded operations research study of the university’s libraries. Later, the work received funding from the National Science Foundation. An important feature of the Purdue work was the extensive involvement of the librarians.

The work done by

**the Leimkuhler group at Purdue was probably the most significant, both in terms of impact, size and duration. The Industrial Engineering School at Purdue had a good working relation- ship with the Purdue University Libraries.**
The activities at Purdue continued to expand in the late 1960s, eventually touching on almost all aspects of library operations. The scope of the research activity ranged from course projects to doctoral dissertations. Leimkuhler identified a dozen operations research theses completed at Purdue by 1971 which related to libraries.

Activities at other institutions followed the general pattern observed at Purdue. Starting in the early 1960s, there was a decade full of library activity. By the end of the period, most aspects of library operations had been investigated.

The study of library operations research started changing in the early 1970s. By 1975, most of the research activity had shifted from operations research units to libraries or library schools. Most of the library schools started including operations research in their curriculum. As librarians and information scientists started applying operations research methodology, it became more difficult to distinguish operations research studies from other quantitative library research. By the mid-l970s, bibliometrics became an accepted term to describe quantitative research on libraries. Much of the research which would have been called operations research in the 1960s was called bibliometrics by the late 1970s. Bibliometrics, however, did not replace the library operations research and the trend to apply operations research in libraries has been continuing since then.

## 5. OPERATIONS RESEARCH (OR)

##
Operations are activities carried out in an organisation. Research is the process of observation and testing characterized by the scientific method. And, Operations Research (OR) is the use of advanced analytical techniques to improve decision making. It is sometimes known as Operational Research, Management Science or Industrial Engineering. People with skills in OR hold jobs in decision support, business analytics, marketing analysis and logistics planning – as well as jobs with OR in the title. It is the field of how to form mathematical models of complex management decision problems and how to analyze the models to gain insight about possible solutions.
By using techniques such as mathematical modeling to analyze complex situations, operations research gives managers the power to make more effective decisions and build more productive systems based on:
- More complete data
- Consideration of all available options
- Careful predictions of outcomes and estimates of risk
- The latest decision tools and techniques

Operations are activities carried out in an organisation. Research is the process of observation and testing characterized by the scientific method. And, Operations Research (OR) is the use of advanced analytical techniques to improve decision making. It is sometimes known as Operational Research, Management Science or Industrial Engineering. People with skills in OR hold jobs in decision support, business analytics, marketing analysis and logistics planning – as well as jobs with OR in the title. It is the field of how to form mathematical models of complex management decision problems and how to analyze the models to gain insight about possible solutions.

By using techniques such as mathematical modeling to analyze complex situations, operations research gives managers the power to make more effective decisions and build more productive systems based on:

- More complete data
- Consideration of all available options
- Careful predictions of outcomes and estimates of risk
- The latest decision tools and techniques

## 5.1 Concept

##

Operations research (OR) is an analytical method of problem-solving and decision-making that is useful in the management of organizations. In operations research, problems are broken down into basic components and then solved in defined steps by mathematical analysis. The model-based OR approach to problem solving works best on problems important enough to warrant the time and resources for a careful study.

A common misconception held by many is that OR is a collection of mathematical tools. While it is true that it uses a variety of mathematical techniques, operations research has a much broader scope. It is in fact a systematic approach to solving problems, which uses one or more analytical tools in the process of analysis. Perhaps the single biggest problem with OR is its name to a layperson, the term ‘operations research’ does not convey any sort of meaningful image of the concept

Operations research (OR) is an analytical method of problem-solving and decision-making that is useful in the management of organizations. In operations research, problems are broken down into basic components and then solved in defined steps by mathematical analysis. The model-based OR approach to problem solving works best on problems important enough to warrant the time and resources for a careful study.

A common misconception held by many is that OR is a collection of mathematical tools. While it is true that it uses a variety of mathematical techniques, operations research has a much broader scope. It is in fact a systematic approach to solving problems, which uses one or more analytical tools in the process of analysis. Perhaps the single biggest problem with OR is its name to a layperson, the term ‘operations research’ does not convey any sort of meaningful image of the concept

## 5.2 Definition

##
Operations research, operational research, or simply OR, is the use of mathematical models, statistics and algorithms to aid in decision-making. It is most often used to analyze complex real-world systems, typically with the goal of improving or optimizing performance. It is one form of applied mathematics.

OR is defined as the application of mathematical techniques, models, and tools to a problem within a system to yield the optimal solution.
Another definition of Operations Research (OR) in the context of library and information organisations is that it is an analytical method of problem-solving and decision-making that is useful in the management of organizations. In operations research, problems are broken down into basic components and then solved in defined steps by mathematical analysis.
Analytical methods used in OR include mathematical logic, simulation, network analysis, queuing theory, and game theory. The process can be broadly broken down into three steps.
- A set of potential solutions to a problem is developed.
- The alternatives derived in the first step are analysed and reduced to a small set of solutions most likely to prove workable.
- The alternatives derived in the second step are subjected to simulated implementation and, if possible, tested out in real-world situations. In this final step, psychology and management science often play important roles.

From the above definitions, it can be concluded that Operations Research or OR is the field of:
- how to form mathematical models of complex management decision problems, and
- how to analyze the models to gain insight about possible solutions

In other words, operations research is the discipline of applying advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions in all kinds of organisations. It can be described as a scientific approach to decision making that involves the operations of an organised system as the name implies, operations research involves ‘research on operations.’ This refers to both the approach and the area of application of the field. Thus OR is applied to problems that concern how to conduct and coordinate the operational activities within an organisation.

Operations research, operational research, or simply OR, is the use of mathematical models, statistics and algorithms to aid in decision-making. It is most often used to analyze complex real-world systems, typically with the goal of improving or optimizing performance. It is one form of applied mathematics.

OR is defined as the application of mathematical techniques, models, and tools to a problem within a system to yield the optimal solution.

Another definition of Operations Research (OR) in the context of library and information organisations is that it is an analytical method of problem-solving and decision-making that is useful in the management of organizations. In operations research, problems are broken down into basic components and then solved in defined steps by mathematical analysis.

Analytical methods used in OR include mathematical logic, simulation, network analysis, queuing theory, and game theory. The process can be broadly broken down into three steps.

- A set of potential solutions to a problem is developed.
- The alternatives derived in the first step are analysed and reduced to a small set of solutions most likely to prove workable.
- The alternatives derived in the second step are subjected to simulated implementation and, if possible, tested out in real-world situations. In this final step, psychology and management science often play important roles.

From the above definitions, it can be concluded that Operations Research or OR is the field of:

- how to form mathematical models of complex management decision problems, and
- how to analyze the models to gain insight about possible solutions

In other words, operations research is the discipline of applying advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions in all kinds of organisations. It can be described as a scientific approach to decision making that involves the operations of an organised system as the name implies, operations research involves ‘research on operations.’ This refers to both the approach and the area of application of the field. Thus OR is applied to problems that concern how to conduct and coordinate the operational activities within an organisation.

## 5.3 Why Libraries need OR ?

##
Due to rising costs, shrinking budgets and available technologies, the modern libraries want to make the best use of available resources. The modern computer and communication technologies have increased need for information requirements and the present day library users expect high-quality library products and services whenever and wherever they need them. Library organizations, whether public or private, need to provide these products and services as effectively and efficiently as possible. This requires careful planning and analysis, in other words, the hallmarks of good operations research (OR). This is usually based on process modeling, analysis of options or mathematical modeling.

OR has been successfully applied to the library and information science field. It is due to the fact that it is a problem-solving activity which is capable of developing new techniques as and when a situation demands. OR is applicable not only to the routine problems but also to strategic and operational planning and problems of design in organisations. Although considered to be one of the best decision-making and monitoring techniques of management, it is a constraint, that is, it can be applied to situations where it is possible to construct mathematical models.

Due to rising costs, shrinking budgets and available technologies, the modern libraries want to make the best use of available resources. The modern computer and communication technologies have increased need for information requirements and the present day library users expect high-quality library products and services whenever and wherever they need them. Library organizations, whether public or private, need to provide these products and services as effectively and efficiently as possible. This requires careful planning and analysis, in other words, the hallmarks of good operations research (OR). This is usually based on process modeling, analysis of options or mathematical modeling.

OR has been successfully applied to the library and information science field. It is due to the fact that it is a problem-solving activity which is capable of developing new techniques as and when a situation demands. OR is applicable not only to the routine problems but also to strategic and operational planning and problems of design in organisations. Although considered to be one of the best decision-making and monitoring techniques of management, it is a constraint, that is, it can be applied to situations where it is possible to construct mathematical models.

## 6. CHARACTERISTICS OF OR

##
OR approaches problem solving and decision making from total system’s perspective. It does not experiment with the system itself but constructs a model of the system upon which to experiment. The essential characteristics of operations research are:

- It adopts a systems approach
- There is use of interdisciplinary teams
- Application of scientific methods
- Uncovering of new problem
- Use of mathematical models
- Helpful in improving quality of the solution
- Goal-oriented optimum solution
- Improvement of quality of decisions
- Use of computers
- Quantitative solutions, and
- Human factor

In the context of libraries and information organisations, some other characteristics of operations research are:
- addresses specific problems within specific programs
- deals with problems that are under control of library professionals
- uses systematic procedures for data collection and evidence generation

OR approaches problem solving and decision making from total system’s perspective. It does not experiment with the system itself but constructs a model of the system upon which to experiment. The essential characteristics of operations research are:

- It adopts a systems approach
- There is use of interdisciplinary teams
- Application of scientific methods
- Uncovering of new problem
- Use of mathematical models
- Helpful in improving quality of the solution
- Goal-oriented optimum solution
- Improvement of quality of decisions
- Use of computers
- Quantitative solutions, and
- Human factor

In the context of libraries and information organisations, some other characteristics of operations research are:

- addresses specific problems within specific programs
- deals with problems that are under control of library professionals
- uses systematic procedures for data collection and evidence generation

## 7. OR PROCESS

##

The approach to operations research is that of the scientific method. The process begins by formulating the problem, constructing the model, deriving a solution of the problem from the model, testing, implementing and finally the feedback for improvement. The steps of the OR process are:
a) Formulating the problem.
b) Constructing a mathematical model to represent the system under study.
c) Deriving a solution from the model.
d) Testing the model and the solution derived from it.
e) Establishing controls over the solution.
f) Putting the solution to work, i.e., implementation.
g) Feedback
** **

These steps vary in complexity from problem to problem. In some applications the formulation may be very difficult; in others, the model construction may be the most complex step. The phases of the OR process are described below.

Formulating the problem is one of the most difficult steps for library operations. This step requires that the objective be stated in measurable terms, defining the system and identifying any constraints. While operations researchers can assist, formulating the problem is primarily the responsibility of the librarian.

The construction of the mathematical model and the derivation of its solution are the areas in which the operations researcher can contribute the maximum. The knowledge of operations research is vital to these steps. A** **variety of general models, such inventory, queuing, linear programming, simulation, networking, and scheduling have been used extensively. An extensive literature covering both theory and practice exists for these models. The model construction and solution should be performed by an expert operations research practitioner for most of the models. The simple models can constructed by the librarian, in case he/she has some training or experience in operations research.

The next step requires testing the model and its solution. This requires close cooperation between the librarian and the operations research practitioner. A model is usually never more than a representation of reality. A good model is one that can accurately predict the essential aspects of the system. The best method of testing the model is the librarian’s intuition as it is usually based on experience and thus can be valuable. Otherwise, there are a variety of technical methods for testing. If the results do not appear to be right, they should be carefully re-examined before acceptance.

After this, controls over the solution need to be established. Any solution is valid only as long as there are no significant changes. When conditions change, the solution must be re-evaluated. For example, in a college library, if the price of certain course books, not demanded by most students, is very high, then buying multiple copies may no longer be the best strategy.

Implementation of the results is the final step in the process. If major changes are required, this can be a difficult step, one that may be met with some resistance. It is important that everyone involved in the project, including the librarian, the library staff, the operations researchers, and the management of the library should participate in the implementation.

The steps discussed above are seldom changed and have to be followed in the order as presented. Furthermore, these steps may take place simultaneously. In many projects, for example, the formulation of the problem is not completed until the project itself is virtually completed. There is usually a continuous interplay between these steps during the research.

The approach to operations research is that of the scientific method. The process begins by formulating the problem, constructing the model, deriving a solution of the problem from the model, testing, implementing and finally the feedback for improvement. The steps of the OR process are:

a) Formulating the problem.

b) Constructing a mathematical model to represent the system under study.

c) Deriving a solution from the model.

d) Testing the model and the solution derived from it.

e) Establishing controls over the solution.

f) Putting the solution to work, i.e., implementation.

g) Feedback

These steps vary in complexity from problem to problem. In some applications the formulation may be very difficult; in others, the model construction may be the most complex step. The phases of the OR process are described below.

Formulating the problem is one of the most difficult steps for library operations. This step requires that the objective be stated in measurable terms, defining the system and identifying any constraints. While operations researchers can assist, formulating the problem is primarily the responsibility of the librarian.

The construction of the mathematical model and the derivation of its solution are the areas in which the operations researcher can contribute the maximum. The knowledge of operations research is vital to these steps. A

**variety of general models, such inventory, queuing, linear programming, simulation, networking, and scheduling have been used extensively. An extensive literature covering both theory and practice exists for these models. The model construction and solution should be performed by an expert operations research practitioner for most of the models. The simple models can constructed by the librarian, in case he/she has some training or experience in operations research.**
The next step requires testing the model and its solution. This requires close cooperation between the librarian and the operations research practitioner. A model is usually never more than a representation of reality. A good model is one that can accurately predict the essential aspects of the system. The best method of testing the model is the librarian’s intuition as it is usually based on experience and thus can be valuable. Otherwise, there are a variety of technical methods for testing. If the results do not appear to be right, they should be carefully re-examined before acceptance.

After this, controls over the solution need to be established. Any solution is valid only as long as there are no significant changes. When conditions change, the solution must be re-evaluated. For example, in a college library, if the price of certain course books, not demanded by most students, is very high, then buying multiple copies may no longer be the best strategy.

Implementation of the results is the final step in the process. If major changes are required, this can be a difficult step, one that may be met with some resistance. It is important that everyone involved in the project, including the librarian, the library staff, the operations researchers, and the management of the library should participate in the implementation.

The steps discussed above are seldom changed and have to be followed in the order as presented. Furthermore, these steps may take place simultaneously. In many projects, for example, the formulation of the problem is not completed until the project itself is virtually completed. There is usually a continuous interplay between these steps during the research.

## 7.1 Mathematical Model

##
A model may be defined formally as a selective abstraction of reality. This definition implies that modelling is the process of capturing selected characteristics of a system or a process and then combining these into an abstract representation of the original. The main idea here is that it is usually far easier to analyse a simplified model than it is to analyse the original system, and as long as the model is a reasonably accurate representation, conclusions drawn from such an analysis may be validly extended to the original system.
Models are classified by their types, functions, dimensionality, purpose, subject and degree of abstraction. The basic types include- physical, diagrammatic and mathematical models. In operations research, the mathematical models are prepared for situations. The mathematical models are the representation of real situations (or aspects) using algebraic variables in terms of figures, symbols, mathematical equations or inequalities to represent relations or limitations respectively. These models include - linear programming, inventory, organizational charts or the income statements of the organisation.
The main step in the operations research methodology is the model. As mentioned above, a model is an abstraction, a thought, and provides framework for analysis of a system. Operations research uses mathematical models to describe, represent, and imitate aspects of a system’s behaviour. Mathematical models, which are highly abstract representations, often give librarians the feeling that these models are quite remote and alien.
The construction of the mathematical model and the derivation of its solution are the areas in which the operations researcher is most competent. A large portion of operations research education is devoted to these steps. A** **variety of general models, such inventory, queuing, linear programming, simulation, networking and scheduling have been used extensively. Unless the librarian has had some training in operations research, the model construction and solution should be performed by a competent operations research practitioner for all but the simplest models.

A model may be defined formally as a selective abstraction of reality. This definition implies that modelling is the process of capturing selected characteristics of a system or a process and then combining these into an abstract representation of the original. The main idea here is that it is usually far easier to analyse a simplified model than it is to analyse the original system, and as long as the model is a reasonably accurate representation, conclusions drawn from such an analysis may be validly extended to the original system.

Models are classified by their types, functions, dimensionality, purpose, subject and degree of abstraction. The basic types include- physical, diagrammatic and mathematical models. In operations research, the mathematical models are prepared for situations. The mathematical models are the representation of real situations (or aspects) using algebraic variables in terms of figures, symbols, mathematical equations or inequalities to represent relations or limitations respectively. These models include - linear programming, inventory, organizational charts or the income statements of the organisation.

The main step in the operations research methodology is the model. As mentioned above, a model is an abstraction, a thought, and provides framework for analysis of a system. Operations research uses mathematical models to describe, represent, and imitate aspects of a system’s behaviour. Mathematical models, which are highly abstract representations, often give librarians the feeling that these models are quite remote and alien.

The construction of the mathematical model and the derivation of its solution are the areas in which the operations researcher is most competent. A large portion of operations research education is devoted to these steps. A

**variety of general models, such inventory, queuing, linear programming, simulation, networking and scheduling have been used extensively. Unless the librarian has had some training in operations research, the model construction and solution should be performed by a competent operations research practitioner for all but the simplest models.**## 8. APPLICATION OF OR IN LIBRARY/INFORMATION ORGANISATIONS

## 9. ADVANTAGES OF OR

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There are many advantages of applying operations research in library and information organisations. Some advantages are:

a) The information specialist is able to evaluate the various available routes for preparing the particular products especially the most feasible and practical one.
b) Tries to derive the maximum output with the minimum possible input.
c) Operations research is very beneficial to the information organisations for deciding what :
– Information products/services are to be offered
– the quantities
– the methods of prepared
– which employees to engage in the preparation processes, and
– the marketing activities required for the produced products and services
d) Operations research is based upon collected information, knowledge and advanced study of various factors impacting a particular operation. This leads to more informed decision making.
e) Finer-tuned Control of Operations - Use of quantifiable means easily reveals the strengths and weakness of the information organization. This ensure more and better control over various operations, thereby helping the library in-charge to manage the library more effectively.
f) Cost Reduction, as better decisions and increased control over library operations can reduce organizational costs. However, operations research can help reduce costs in other ways.
Team Unification - Because operations research takes an intelligent and quantifiable look at the internal operations of the organization, there is a strong foundation for making unified decisions regarding operations.

There are many advantages of applying operations research in library and information organisations. Some advantages are:

a) The information specialist is able to evaluate the various available routes for preparing the particular products especially the most feasible and practical one.

b) Tries to derive the maximum output with the minimum possible input.

c) Operations research is very beneficial to the information organisations for deciding what :

– Information products/services are to be offered

– the quantities

– the methods of prepared

– which employees to engage in the preparation processes, and

– the marketing activities required for the produced products and services

d) Operations research is based upon collected information, knowledge and advanced study of various factors impacting a particular operation. This leads to more informed decision making.

e) Finer-tuned Control of Operations - Use of quantifiable means easily reveals the strengths and weakness of the information organization. This ensure more and better control over various operations, thereby helping the library in-charge to manage the library more effectively.

f) Cost Reduction, as better decisions and increased control over library operations can reduce organizational costs. However, operations research can help reduce costs in other ways.

Team Unification - Because operations research takes an intelligent and quantifiable look at the internal operations of the organization, there is a strong foundation for making unified decisions regarding operations.

## 10. DISADVANTAGES OF OR

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Operations research has plenty of advantages but there are a few disadvantages too. The limitations of OR are more related to the problems of model building, time and money factors. These are discussed below.

a) The main limitation of operations research is that it often ignores the human element in the production process. This approach is technology driven and does not take into account the emotional factors and absenteeism of the employees. Implementation of decisions involves human relations and behaviour. Also there is a wide gap between the managers and the operation researchers.

b) Involves Time and Cost - Operations research is very costly. An organization needs to invest time and effort into OR in order to make it effective. The organization must hire a team of professionals to conduct constant research. Due to technological developments, scenarios change very rapidly and employees must keep reviewing all the scenarios that are under the purview of OR.

c) Analysis of Only Quantifiable Factors - OR can evaluate only the effects of numeric and quantifiable factors. It does not consider the complexities involved with humans and their behaviors. For example, OR may compute a time by which the ultimate product should be ready. However, because it does not allow room for employee absenteeism, the production schedule may suffer tremendously if there is a lot of absenteeism from work.

d) Disconnected From the Real Conditions - The results of OR are often academic in nature. Their application and integration in real life situations may not be feasible or practical. The analyst conducting the research is usually a mathematician who is not well versed in actual library scenarios, i.e., he may compute results that are idealistic in nature. Because the real world situation is very different, the OR results may lose their charm and importance.

Overdependence on Computers - Operations research depends heavily on systems and computing techniques. It does not take into account the intangible elements involved in running a library. For example, OR may compute the optimum solution for library automation. However, there is an import problem related to computer systems and the library does not get its supplies on time. This disturbs the process of library automation but OR does not allow room for these kinds of problems.

Operations research has plenty of advantages but there are a few disadvantages too. The limitations of OR are more related to the problems of model building, time and money factors. These are discussed below.

a) The main limitation of operations research is that it often ignores the human element in the production process. This approach is technology driven and does not take into account the emotional factors and absenteeism of the employees. Implementation of decisions involves human relations and behaviour. Also there is a wide gap between the managers and the operation researchers.

b) Involves Time and Cost - Operations research is very costly. An organization needs to invest time and effort into OR in order to make it effective. The organization must hire a team of professionals to conduct constant research. Due to technological developments, scenarios change very rapidly and employees must keep reviewing all the scenarios that are under the purview of OR.

c) Analysis of Only Quantifiable Factors - OR can evaluate only the effects of numeric and quantifiable factors. It does not consider the complexities involved with humans and their behaviors. For example, OR may compute a time by which the ultimate product should be ready. However, because it does not allow room for employee absenteeism, the production schedule may suffer tremendously if there is a lot of absenteeism from work.

d) Disconnected From the Real Conditions - The results of OR are often academic in nature. Their application and integration in real life situations may not be feasible or practical. The analyst conducting the research is usually a mathematician who is not well versed in actual library scenarios, i.e., he may compute results that are idealistic in nature. Because the real world situation is very different, the OR results may lose their charm and importance.

Overdependence on Computers - Operations research depends heavily on systems and computing techniques. It does not take into account the intangible elements involved in running a library. For example, OR may compute the optimum solution for library automation. However, there is an import problem related to computer systems and the library does not get its supplies on time. This disturbs the process of library automation but OR does not allow room for these kinds of problems.

## 11. SUMMARY

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The application of operations research to libraries has been similar to the applications of operations research to social services. The theoretical work done in this area in the past years has been very significant and has led to a better understanding of both libraries and library users. Operations research has become an established part of library science education. And, while the impact on library operations has been significant, it has had a major impact on library education.
In this module, we have traced the history of operations research as seen in libraries and information organisation. In libraries, significant efforts to apply OR during the 1960s and 1970s were carried out.

Operations Research deals with decision problems by formulating and analyzing mathematical models – mathematical representations of pertinent problem features. Operations research has been defined as the aim to provide a rational basis for decision making by seeking to understand and structure complex situations and to use this understanding to predict system behavior and improve system performance.
The six steps of OR are formulating the problem, constructing the model, deriving a solution of the problem from the model, testing, implementing and finally the feedback for improvement. The need for constructing a model has also been explained.

OR has been successfully applied to those library activities that can be quantified. Modernisation of information organisations requires conducting thorough study of existing resources and facilities, which is a costly commitment. Besides this, there are several management problems requiring proper decision- making process. For all such tasks, operations research has been found to be the best possible controlling and feedback mechanism. Lastly, advantages and disadvantages of OR are explained in detail.

The application of operations research to libraries has been similar to the applications of operations research to social services. The theoretical work done in this area in the past years has been very significant and has led to a better understanding of both libraries and library users. Operations research has become an established part of library science education. And, while the impact on library operations has been significant, it has had a major impact on library education.

In this module, we have traced the history of operations research as seen in libraries and information organisation. In libraries, significant efforts to apply OR during the 1960s and 1970s were carried out.

Operations Research deals with decision problems by formulating and analyzing mathematical models – mathematical representations of pertinent problem features. Operations research has been defined as the aim to provide a rational basis for decision making by seeking to understand and structure complex situations and to use this understanding to predict system behavior and improve system performance.

The six steps of OR are formulating the problem, constructing the model, deriving a solution of the problem from the model, testing, implementing and finally the feedback for improvement. The need for constructing a model has also been explained.

OR has been successfully applied to those library activities that can be quantified. Modernisation of information organisations requires conducting thorough study of existing resources and facilities, which is a costly commitment. Besides this, there are several management problems requiring proper decision- making process. For all such tasks, operations research has been found to be the best possible controlling and feedback mechanism. Lastly, advantages and disadvantages of OR are explained in detail.

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