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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

Despite technologies, many basic library activities still lend themselves to analysis and improvement. Author Richard Dougherty provides numerous examples and easy-to-apply tools and techniques that can be used to analyze what libraries are doing, how they are doing it, and how much time is required to do it. These tools include block diagrams, check sheets, flow process charts, work-flow diagrams, flow charts, through-put analysis, self-administered diary studies, and work sampling techniques. Specific examples from all areas of library operations are presented to illustrate how techniques can be applied to analyze what occurs at critical service areas.
Streamlining Library Services provides detailed information on how to diagnose problem areas using such tools as Pareto and fishbone charts; use techniques such as brainstorming and focus groups; organize a work flow study; and build and present cost studies. Special emphasis is placed on activities that should occur after the analysis is concluded, including data analysis as well as reporting study results and making recommendations to management, and guidelines are provided for managers and staff as they strive to streamline activities. The final two chapters should be of special interest to managers. The first chapter is devoted to implementation issues and strategies that must be addressed as new workflows and services are introduced, and the latter chapter focuses on organizational change issues and strategies for building staff support toward change.

Dougherty, Richard M. Streamlining Library Services: What We Do, How Much Time It Takes, What It Costs, and How We Can Do it Better. Lanham, MD, Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2006. 256pp.

Feb. 2008 / paper / 288pp.

ISBN 0-8108-5198-9 $45