Monday, February 13, 2012

"The Role of the Library and Information Science Professionals As Managers..."

Recently I read this article by Parvez Ahmed and Mohd Yaseen. The article discussed a comparison of managerial roles within the Library Field and also the corporate world. Similarly, skills that any manager in any setting should maintain are technical skill, human skill, leading skills, conceptual skill, planning level, organizing skills, controlling skills and decision-making skills. After reading this, many of these may seem like a given. I personally would hope that a manager would know these skills when they become one. However, some do not and sometimes you become that "accidental manager". I say accidental after being to a discussion on how sometimes that may happen in the library field. You may not wish to be one, but it may come your way at some point in your career.

However, going deeper into these skills Ahmed and Yaseen discuss how they are involved with the Library field. Take for example technical skill. We all must be aware of what our jobs involve. They use the example, "a surgeon must know hot to do surgery. An accountant must know how to keep accounts"(Ahmed and Yaseen, 2009, p.2). For a librarian manager, one must certainly keep up with the ever growing technology. One must be fluent with being online, troubleshoot new technologies, and also learn new technologies. Technology is growing at a extreme pace and for those in the library field they have to keep up in order to provide our services. Doesn't matter if its public or a special, one should be aware of new technologies to provide. One must also be able to handle changes. There are so many changes involved with libraries from funding, technologies, our patrons and so much more. One must be able to handle change but also be prepared and plan for those changes.

I for one am unsure if I want to be within the managerial role of the libraries, however sometimes it may just happen. This article gives a great insight of what one should expect being a manager within a library setting. They are similar to other organizations, however a librarian has to almost take those skills to the next level!

Ahmad, P., Yaseen, M. 2009. The role of the library and information science professionals as managers: A comparative analysis. Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship, 10(3)

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