Models for Library Management, Decision-Making, and Planning

By Riley, Ruth | Journal of the Medical Library Association, January 2004 | Go to article overview

Models for Library Management, Decision-Making, and Planning


Riley, Ruth, Journal of the Medical Library Association


HAYES, ROBERT M. Models for Library Management, Decision-Making, and Planning. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, 2001. (Library and Information Science Series.) 278 p. and CD-ROM. $99.95 ISBN 00 -120 -3341510 -5.

Models for Library Management, Decision-Making, and Planning is authored by Robert Hayes, professor emeritus and dean (1974-89), Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of California, Los Angeles. The purpose of the book is to provide library managers with quantitative, qualitative, and descriptive models for effective planning and decision making. The emphasis, however, is largely on quantitative models that consist of mathematical equations that measure the workloads that drive library operations. Hayes incorporates most of these quantitative models into his Library Planning Model (LPM), an Excel spreadsheet on CD-ROM that accompanies the book.

Hayes sets the tone for the book with an introductory chapter that discusses the nature of scientific management, operations research, and systems analysis and the application of game theory to decision making. The next chapter lays the groundwork for how scientific management may be applicable in library decision-making contexts. Hayes focuses on tactical operations such as assessing "what-if" situations, setting fee structures, making outsourcing decisions, assigning staff, and managing collection growth as well as strategic planning for institutional and national information policy effects.

The next chapter presents an overview of Hayes's LPM and its conceptual and operational structure as the tool for bringing together several of the scientific management models to use on the decision problems presented in the previous chapter. LPM is an Excel spreadsheet that provides a means for estimating staff, materials, facilities, and associated costs needed to handle workloads for typical services and internal operations in an academic library. The purpose of LPM is to provide a means for assessing alternatives and "what-if" situations represented by changes in some elements of data while keeping others unchanged. It is a menudriven tool that allows library managers to enter data about their user population, holdings, acquisitions and cataloging activity, and use of library services. The model also allows for the input of data associated with publishing, an increasing activity among academic libraries. Results are then presented that may be used to generate estimates of staff and associated costs, determine distributions of staff among various operations and services, and determine needs for facilities to serve users, store materials, and accommodate staff. It is possible to modify any of the factors by which LPM determines staff, facilities, or costs. The program also offers the ability to load data from the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) or Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) annual statistics as a means for calibrating the values used in LPM or as the basis for comparing one's library with similar values. …

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