Personal Development in the Information and Library Profession

By Sylvia P. Webb; Diana Greemwood-Jones | Go to book overview
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Introduction

Personal development or self-development is a complex subject; different aspects of it are discussed in various behavioural science texts. The purpose of this book is to define personal development in the context of the information and library profession, whilst not losing sight of the need to view it in a wider organisational setting. Therefore references are made throughout to the detailed reading essential to a broader understanding of the subject. The importance of seeing the library and information service (LIS) as an integral part of the organisation is also emphasised, as is the increasingly broadening role of the librarian or information manager. The book also discusses what personal development can contribute to the respective performances of the individual, the information service and the organisation.

The book describes ways in which this can be carried out in several types of organisation, for staff at different levels, and by various means, both in-house and externally. Those in each type of organisation will select ways most relevant to its objectives. To illustrate this, examples are taken from libraries and information services operating in both the public and private sectors, highlighting the different organisational influences on personal development. The qualities and skills required to manage a library or information service are discussed as well as the methods by which these can be achieved. Consideration is also given to the valuable role of the professional associations, formal and informal groups, and providers of LIS and other types of continuing education and training.

Problems experienced, including those of self-employed information workers, are examined, and suggestions made for resolving such problems, thus identifying potential areas for personal development. These are based on real-life situations, making them particularly helpful as practical examples of what can be done and how to do it. Various checklists and exercises are also included, along with examples of training programmes.

The book aims to be equally useful to those who have been in the information profession for some time, as well as those just beginning their careers. The words 'library' and 'information service' should be regarded as being synonymous, as should 'librarian' and 'information manager'. However these are by no means the only titles used to describe today's information workers and the departments in which they work. The book is just as likely to be relevant to those employed in knowledge centres, research departments, learning resource centres, IT units and others.

We would like to thank those organisations and individuals who have allowed their experiences and comments to be quoted, as noted in the

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