Public Library Management: Staff as Information Community FA14 LIBR 200-19

Staff as Information Community

Public libraries are a product of the community they serve and will vary from rural to suburban environment. Even so there is a fundamental nature to the public library. “In any community, the local public library provides a sense of place, a refuge, and a still point; it is a commons, a vital part of the public sphere and an incubator of ideas. The public library supports family literacy, fosters lifelong learning, helps immigrants find a place and give a place to those for whom there is no other place to be.” (2011,1).

If it is true that “library workers activate the mission of the public library,” (2011,131) it must hold true that they must first know the mission of the library. They must be empowered and trained to carry out that mission. Then too management should know and understand the needs of the staff so that their influence and vision can be implemented.   So in that light there are many questions to be asked and answered.

How does management impact the information distribution of the public library? Specifically how do managerial practices impact staff and therefore the informational services to the public? What bearing does internal communication/lack of communication have on public information services? How are relationships between staff and management formed and what is the result?

Staff is the first line of information service to the public. How does management foster staff collaboration in the promotion of library services?

If information communities are to be a reflection of the community, should management be a reflection of the staff? Following the theory further, what barriers can management remove so that staff can have the resources, support and information they need? What barriers does management set up to keep staff from seeking the information they need?

If information communities are foster a sense of community how does management foster a sense of staff as community so as to have the greatest positive impact on the public community?

McCook, K. (2011). Introduction to Public Librarianship (2nd ed.). New York: Neal-Schuman.

9-20-14 Content same.   Minor adjustments to format and typing.  lj


4 responses to “Public Library Management: Staff as Information Community FA14 LIBR 200-19”

  1. Prof. Tash says :

    Hello Lisa,
    there are several management and business type databases. so include them along with LIS dbs. I really think management and leadership and key terms for the ISCHOOL new curriculum.

    • avemariahailmaryamen says :

      I hope that your are correct, and iSchool is headed in that direction. Libraries and their communities can no longer afford to reward long time hard working staff with positions of authority. Unfair as that may seem, the library industry is experiencing a monumental shift and that is going to require savvy.

      It would be nice to be able to specialize and one day obtain at the very least a Master’s of Library Information Science and Administration. It could be called LISA. ; )

  2. rrodriguezzy says :

    Hello Lisa,
    I am very interested to read more about your topic. As a library employee, I understand the importance of a strong management team and good communication among the staff. When staff members are not kept “up to date” on events, programs, technology and new resources, we are unable to fully serve the public and their information needs. Looking forward to reading more on your research.

    Y. Rodriguez (LIBR 200-19)

  3. avemariahailmaryamen says :

    I hope that I can live up to your expectations. It is my experience as well. The lack of communication directly impacts customer service. At the very minimum can be embarrassing for both staff and customer.

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