Synopses & Reviews
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, to implement best practices for maximizing existing resources, and to 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 before moving on to look at how to manage expectations, and how to report to both administration and faculty. Chapters consider the four "Ds" of Do, Delegate, Delay and Drop, cover project management, and understanding the mission and objectives of the organization. Finally, it 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.
"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."
About the Author
David Stern is the Associate Dean for Public Services at Illinois State University's Milner Library. His research interests include electronic retrieval and transmission of data and the development of end-user search systems for both local and remote hosts. He is currently working on the development of standards and cost models for federated full-text search and retrieval systems.
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
Conclusion: The most important D: Do
Appendix A: Start-up scenarios to ponder
Appendix B: Suggested readings