Daily Thoughts 5/10/2009
I read through Streamlining Library Services What We Do, How Much Time It Takes, What It Costs, and How We Can Do It Better by Richard M. Dougherty. I did not understand a lot of this book. It was complex material on how to organize work flow diagrams, block diagrams, analyze processes and make things work smoother.
A lot of the material in this book is for someone with a better grasp of management language and statistics than I currently have. There is a lot of talk and descriptions that did not make a lot of sense to me. I recognized a number of the forms like the reference center statistics forms and the floor plan layouts. There was a lot of other material in here as well.
We partially do some of the things in this book. We have a weekly and a monthly report which we hand in, but we do not have anything as complete as a daily work diary. Nor do we spend a lot of time asking about how to make things work much more smoothly. We don't often ask how can we make it easier to do our work? How can we make it turn out better? Who is the best person to do the job?
The book has a number of lists of questions you can ask to make a procedure easier to do. I think this book has a lot of good ideas, but many of them are very complex. They also appear easy to abuse. Time motion studies are often criticized as being a way to make people do a lot more work in a lot less time.
Streamlining Library Services is not just focused on efficiency, there is also some material on ergonomics, how to make a library more comfortable and safer, as well as how to measure cost effectiveness.
This book is written for an experienced library manager with an understanding of administrative procedure. It is a fairly complex book to read. There are lots of charts, graphs, formulas, diagrams, and examples of forms. The book has a number of black and white photographs. Each chapter has notes, and there is an index in the back.
I took a break from library management textbooks and watched some Max Fleischer Superman cartoons. Many of them are on Youtube for free. I like the original cartoon version of Lois Lane much better than the new version. She has a lot more spunk and daring in the old cartoons. The Bulleteers is one of my favorites.
Anyways, I am back to reading. I am reading Learn Library Management by Bob Pymm and Damon D. Hickey. This book is very straightforward, it is designed for the line manager in libraries. Each chapter gives an outline of a management idea set in a library setting, then it gives an exercise set in a library or information center based on the idea discussed in the chapter. This could be public, law, special, or academic library. It is very hands on. The exercises require you to write at least five or six paragraphs.
Have a happy Mothers Day.
Take a visit to http://www.nypl.org/ , the first thing that comes up is $57 million budget cuts.