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