Alexis M Waide

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Archive for the month “June, 2012”

MRG: Facilities & Disaster Planning

These sources are for my ongoing Management Resource Guide (MRG) project for LIS 2700.  The fifth topic is facilities management and disaster planning.

I have some knowledge about facilities management in general since I’ve worked previously for a campus facilities management unit and I was also the go-to person for facilities management issues in my previous job as middle manager in a bookstore.  My resources focus more on disaster and emergency planning since those issues are a gap in my knowledge.  The library journal article I found is extremely helpful in covering the process of writing a disaster plan. The management article focuses more on actual physical space planning in a university or college, and I found it relevant since I’d like to work in an academic library.  My other resources are a mix of facilities management and disaster planning.

Book chapter
Evans, G.E. & Ward, P.L. (2007). Managing and Planning Physical Facilities for Information Services.  Management Basics for Information Professionals (pp. 481-502).  New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Ltd.

Professional library journal article
Fleischer, S.V. & Heppner, M.J. (2009). Disaster Planning for Libraries and Archives: What You Need to Know and How to Do It. Library & Archival Security, 22(2), 125-140.  DOI: 10.1080/01960070902904167.

This is an extensive and informative article that comes from the authors’ first-hand experience with creating a disaster plan and it shows: the information provided and the advice they give is detailed  but explained in easy-to-understand language.  Gives step-by-step instructions for writing the plan, from initiation with a proposal in which the benefits of having a plan are explained, to making sure to have staff members from every department represented on a Disaster Plan Team.  They break the process of writing a plan into three phases: information gathering, creating and implementing the plan, and training staff and maintaining the plan.  They include a lot of helpful questions to ask during the information gathering phase and while they may not be comprehensive, there’s a lot there to stimulate brainstorming on a Disaster Plan Team.

Professional management journal article
Rudden, M.S. (2010). Five recession-driven strategies for planning and managing campus facilities: facing significant fiscal challenges, colleges and universities are pursuing creative and innovative facilities planning and management strategies.  Planning for Higher Education, 39(1), 5-17.

Covers ways of cutting costs with the management and planning for facilities at academic institutions.  Ideas included are defer any capital projects such as construction; maximize use of existing facilities in various ways including offering more evening and weekend classes; increase blended learning courses; increase sustainability; and adapt and incorporate emerging technologies.

Library sites, policies, and procedures

Other resources

  • Space Planning resources from OCLC WebJunction, includes slideshows, policy pages, and more
  • Prepare and Respond, an OCLC WebJunction webinar and resources on partnering with local emergency management
  • Disaster and Planning for Libraries: Maine State Library, resources and guidelines
  • A bibliography of sorts from WebJunction again, though the authorship is unclear.  Includes recommended books, articles, presentations, OSHA resources for libraries, links to libraries’ facilities plans, capital projects, green design, user-centered design and more!
  • Green Libraries LibGuide from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, includes various case studies and resources for libraries “going green”
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We’re number 1!

Forbes says we’re number 1!: The Best and Worst Master’s Degrees for Jobs

Oh, wait, we’re number 1 but it’s not good – Library and Information Science is named the number 1 worst degree in the Forbes article, based on mid-career median income ($57,600) and projected employment increase for common jobs in the field (8.5%).

I know this has been making the rounds since it came out a week ago and a lot of people I know have expressed dismay and outrage.  Several of my program-mates have said, speaking for themselves as well as librarians they know and fellow MLIS students, that they went into the program because they love libraries and happiness in a career doesn’t rest solely on income.  I agree completely with these statements and the indignant feelings from which they stem, i.e. how dare Forbes suggest money is the only thing that makes a degree valuable!

However, that projected employment increase is disheartening, not only for the general picture it paints for all information professionals in the field but also the outlook for new ones just entering it.  8.5% employment increase for common jobs?  It does not bode well for me and my peers who have just graduated or are graduating soon, or for the thousands of people entering programs in the fall.  Yes, it seems the majority of people go into MLIS/MLS programs because they genuinely want to do it and believe working in the field will provide them with professional happiness.  I know no one in my program who entered thinking, “I’m gonna make millions as a librarian!”  But we did all enter thinking, “This degree will help me get a professional position.”  That thought and that 8.5% don’t really mesh well.  It’s hard to be happy in a job I don’t have.

MRG: Budgets & Fiscal Management

These sources are for my ongoing Management Resource Guide (MRG) project for LIS 2700.  The fourth topic is budgets and fiscal management.

This topic came right after I had finished the four-week, one-credit course on Fiscal Management so I felt pretty comfortable with most of the budgeting concepts.  I was still interested in reading about what libraries have been doing in the face of budget cuts, hence the library journal article I chose.  This was another topic where I had a hard time finding a good management journal article.  A lot of it kind of came down to theory or even individual case studies and a lot of what I read was not easily translatable to a library setting.  However, I was able to find a solid collection of web resources to build a toolkit for budgeting.

Book chapter
Evans, G.E. & Ward, P.L. (2007). Managing Money.  Management Basics for Information Professionals (pp. 405-454).  New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Ltd.

Professional library journal article
Kaser, D. (2011). “On Average: How Your Library Budget Stacks Up (PDF).” Computers in Libraries, 31(2), 33-35.

This article is helpful in showing where, exactly, all the money goes for various library types.  The results came from a survey of over 1200 public, special, and academic libraries in the U.S.  While it doesn’t provide many tips for how to write a budget, it is helpful to see what libraries are doing in the face of budget cuts and what they found to be important to their patrons.

Curzon, S.C. (2009). Survivor: the library edition: director-to-director guidance on how to cope with more budget shortfalls. Library Journal, 134(6), 22-24.

Curzon gives tips for surviving budget cuts.  Some of them seem common sense but she presents the ideas in ways I hadn’t thought of before.

Professional management journal article
Howell, R.A. (2004). Turn Your Budgeting Process Upside Down.  Harvard Business Review, 82(7-8), 21-22.

This article takes a different approach to the traditional budgeting process by approaching it from a different angle.  The author urges managers to think more expansively with budgets, similar to the strategic planning process, instead of the more short-sighted view of the fiscal year.  This article is a helpful reminder that budgets should not be viewed as static obstacles but as a positive growth process.

Library sites

  • Denver Public Library Budget Resources:  The Denver Public Library has detailed information about their budget including information about the library districts, statistics for library use, and the budget presentation for 2011.  It’s great to be able to look at the whole process.
  • CMLibrary: Library Budget Information:  Information on the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library of Charlotte, NC, specifically on their funding.

Other resources

  • AE 13: Developing the Library Budget: Helpful page from the Wisconsin Department of Education.  Discusses the process, sources of funding including grants and donations, definitions of terms, and a sample budget.
  • Budget Resources and Tips: From the South Central Library System of Wisconsin.  A general how-to of library budgeting.
  • Budgeting Lingo A to Z: Definitions for basic budgeting terms.  Extremely helpful.  Used in my Fiscal Management class.
  • Budgeting & Finance: The ALA’s page on budgeting, great resources including items on ROI, advocating on a budget, and fundraising.

MRG: Grant Proposals

These sources are for my ongoing Management Resource Guide (MRG) project for LIS 2700.  The second topic for the course is Grant Proposals and Grant Writing.

Grant writing is something I’ve never done (until this class) and it has always seemed like a really daunting task.  I also thought one has to be a professional writer, more or less, to be able to write solid proposals that will actually earn funds.  The articles I found reflect these perceptions to some extent.  The library journal article helped allay a lot of my fears and the management article, though not from a management journal,  helped me laugh and relax about it by showing what not to do.  I don’t have as many library sites on their policies or procedures about grant-writing.  More often library sites had how-to pages on grant writing and I’m guessing information about institution-specific procedures is kept internal.  However, the other resources section has a lot of helpful resources for the grant-writing process.

Book chapter
Gordon, R.S. (2005). Managing Money. The Accidental Library Manager. (pp.218-219). Medford, New Jersey: Information Today, Inc.

Professional library journal article
Gerding, S. (2006). Writing Successful Library Grant Proposals. Public Libraries, 45(5), 31-33.

This article is written for the hesitant grant writer who is intimidated by the process.  I include myself in this group.  Gerding has a practical approach to an organized process for grant writing but it’s her encouraging tone that seemed really helpful to me – i.e. this is not a dissertation and you do not have to be the world’s most eloquent writer, remember that your reviewers are like you and trying to budget accordingly, most grant applications are similar or at least have parts in common.  One of the most helpful tips I came across in the article is that if really struggling with the process, ask the grant funders for successful grant proposals to look at as an example.  If they refuse, one can always turn to other libraries nearby that have had success with grant proposals.

Professional management journal article
Braun, B. et. al. (2010).  How to Fail in Grant Writing. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 57(16).

Okay, while technically not a professional management journal, I thought this article was too good not to include in my guide.  It’s a tongue-in-cheek look at all the things one can do to make sure a grant proposal fails utterly.  Though written by biologists, it’s aimed at a broader higher education audience and includes content-related tips like “Don’t explicitly state any goals, objectives, or hypotheses in your grant proposal” and “Make it obvious that you have cut and pasted sections from your other grants into this new proposal”; tips on style and format like “A single multipage paragraph is fine. Reviewers love 10-point, Arial-font, single-spaced type” and “Replace simple, meaningful words with polysyllabic behemoths… Don’t write ‘use’ when you can say ‘utilize’.”  Obviously the point of this advice to is to demonstrate what one absolutely shouldn’t do when grant writing.  I found it hilarious as well as helpful.

Library policies, procedures, and sites

  • Sample applications from the IMLS, sample grants from a variety of places including libraries. (Including Columbus Metropolitan!)

Other resources

  • Library Grants: Library Grants blog talks mostly about different types of grants, with posts focusing on a grantmaker and the requirements/qualifications for the grant.
  • Proposal Short Writing Course: The Foundation Center has a short tutorial on grant writing, as well as a host of other resources.
  • Library Fund Raising: A Selected Annotated Bibliography: A general annotated bibliography of library fund raising resources, put together by the ALA.  Includes a large section on grants and grantwriting.
  • Grant Proposal Writing: LibGuide on grant writing from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, has lists of books and websites.

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