How Libraries Make Tough Choices in Difficult Times

Purposeful Abandonment


  • David Stern, Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Ithaca, NY

Contemporary library managers face the need to make difficult choices regarding resource allocation in the modern business environment. How Libraries Make Tough Choices in Difficult Times is a practical guide for library managers, offering techniques to analyze existing and potential services, implement best practices for maximizing existing resources, and utilize pressing financial scenarios in order to justify making difficult reallocation decisions. The book begins by asking the fundamental questions of why, what, and how, moving on to look at how to manage expectations and report to both administration and faculty. The book then considers the four ‘D’s of Do, Delegate, Delay and Drop, before covering project management, and how to understand the mission and objectives of your organisation. The book then focuses on: service quality improvement analyses; identifying underlying issues; reviewing resources; identifying best practice; managing feedback and expectations; and looking at decision making skills and implications.
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Managers of all levels within libraries, and students and professionals in library information science


Book information

  • Published: February 2013
  • Imprint: Chandos Publishing
  • ISBN: 978-1-84334-701-9


Stern suggests that a more “transformational evaluation and redesign” for library services may be called for - “abandoning” less important operations even if they are traditionally associated with the library, and enhancing those that are the key sources of value to our users. …Stern's idea forces us to re-evaluate some of our most fundamental philosophies …and the pragmatic and practical advice highlights simple yet effective techniques.
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Table of Contents

Considered and effective leadership; Preparing for analysis; A few important analysis techniques; Understanding and utilizing data and statistical reports; Environmental scans and the power of best practices; Key management skills that contribute to organizational leadership and direction.