Middle Management in Academic and Public Libraries

Middle Management in Academic and Public Libraries

Middle Management in Academic and Public Libraries

Middle Management in Academic and Public Libraries

Synopsis

Conflict resolution. Professional development. Budget cuts. Mentoring and performance evaluations. Time management. Diversity and workplace culture. All of these topics--as well as many others--represent challenges for library middle managers. This unique resource provides the key insight needed to successfully advance a middle management career to the highest levels in librarian administration.

" Middle Management in Academic and Public Libraries" examines managerial topics such as the balance of authority and responsibility as viewed by middle managers, views of middle managers engaged as youth services librarians, collaboration efforts between public and technical services, integrating modern technologies into library services, and recommended career ladder steps. Each of the 20 contributors shares his or her specific expertise, resulting in an engaging compilation of great depth and breadth containing the "pearls of wisdom" that an aspiring middle manager needs in an academic or public library setting.

Excerpt

In today’s fast-paced work world, individuals serving as middle managers in any workplace environment face a landscape that is both challenging and exhilarating. The world inhabited by middle managers can be one shunned by the general workforce for a variety of reasons. Middle managers face workplace pressures, such as increased stress levels, work-life imbalance issues such as work schedule inflexibility, increased pressures driven by frequent changes in technology, and generational antipathy toward middle management positions by Generations X and Y. Middle management positions have lost respect by a new generation of workers and its cache as a world to be inhabited for workplace security (Armour 2007).

However, the middle management positions still can be exhilarating for ambitious individuals. Positives still abound for potential and influence. In 2001, Quy Nguyen Huy published the results of a six-year study of 200 corporate middle managers. Huy’s research results led him to conclude that, when analyzing corporate performance in terms of instituting radical changes, middle managers are very important catalysts in implementing proposed changes and playing substantial roles in leading to the successful implementation of changes. Huy notes that middle managers play four very important roles. First, they serve as internal entrepreneurs. Their deep knowledge of the daily business occurrences, coupled with the ability to visualize the long-term growth possibilities, makes them valuable partners with upper management. Second, middle managers can effectively tap their social networks to communicate changes being proposed. Having served within companies for an extensive period of time allows for the building of social networks. Third, middle managers are in a unique position to address the emotional highs and lows triggered by radical changes, whether . . .

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