MRG: Staff Management
These sources are for my ongoing Management Resource Guide (MRG) project for LIS 2700. The seventh topic is human resources and personnel.
The library journal article was probably one of the most helpful I read for this guide. It had a lot of information with tips for managing personnel in a library setting and addressed some points about which I had questions. Also, I’m a big fan of mnemonic devices and the LISTEN approach is definitely something that will prove useful in the future. It would have been useful in previous job! The professional management journal article was more difficult to find. Again, this was a topic with a lot of theoretical approaches floating around in the management literature and it was hard to find something practical or that I could translate to library land. The outside sources were interesting in giving a look at individual institutions’ approaches to personnel and human resource management.
Evans, G.E. & Ward, P.L. (2007). Managing People. Management Basics for Information Professionals (pp. 359-404). New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Ltd.
Professional library literature
Kieserman, R.H. (2008). Issues in library human resources management. The Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances, 21(3), 101-104.
As a professor of human resources and a library consultant for over 15 years, Kieserman argues employee relations are the most important element in libraries’ human resources programs. This is a brief article but it makes a lot of good points and I found myself agreeing with his point about employee relations. It was especially interesting to me that he said library directors have been complaining in recent years that library schools do not prepare graduates for management. Kieserman makes the point that few library students actively want to go into management; they just sort of wind up there. This ties back to our discussion of the first day of class when we were asked who wants to be a library manager and about, oh, three people raised their hands.
Anyway, Kieserman recommends a simple but effective approach for all library managers, experienced or in- to follow when handling employee relations: LISTEN (Learning, Involvement, Structure, Training, Empathy, Needs). Good managers learn all they can about employees by getting know strengths and weaknesses, preferred working style, how they take direction, etc. Good managers involve their employees in decision making to empower them. Good managers provide structure by communicating expectations, directions and parameters. They provide training and education on how the job should be done well. They are empathetic and demonstrate genuine concern for employees, and in both their working and personal lives. Lastly, good managers assess the various needs of each employee by allowing them to voice concerns. The key thing I see in all of this is COMMUNICATION.
Professional management literature
Lawler, E.E. (2005). From human resource management to organizational effectiveness. Human Resource Management, 44(2), 165-169.
This article re-imagines human resources as business within itself to keep focus on how human resources can be a partner within an organization. It also says that organizational effectiveness and human resources go hand in hand.
Library sites, policies, and procedures
- Library staff manual for the University of Michigan’s libraries
- Policies & Procedures at UC Santa Barbara Library
- Waukesha Public Library Human Resources Policy Procedure
- Human Resources page at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in North Carolina
- Personnel policy development tips and resources from the Mid-Hudson Library System
- List of Human Resources Issues resources compiled by the ALA