|International Reader in the Management of Library, Information and Archive Services (UNESCO, 1987, 684 p.)|
|1. Management, information and development|
K. J. MCHOMBU
This paper attempts to outline the main characteristics of Librarianship under the conditions of poverty. To the best of my knowledge and conviction, this is the base on which any meaningful discussion of Information Work in underdeveloped countries should be firmly anchored.
The goal of my paper is to set up and elaborate on four principles that, in my view, determine the social relevance of Information Work in developing countries. This is a personal testament, and I hasten to add that the views expressed hereafter do not necessarily represent the official position of my employers - the Tanzania Library Service. Similarly, criticism is not directed at any particular institution or person. Should it appear so, I offer my sincere apologies.
1.1 If their work is to be relevant to society, Information Workers must formulate terms of reference that are consistent with the needs of underdeveloped societies. At the moment, it seems to me that such terms of reference are largely nonexistent, and where they do exist they are vague and frequently irrelevant. Given below are the principles that I believe can help in formulating the appropriate terms of reference (and justify the sweeping statements above).
The principles, which are not mutually exclusive, are:
1. That the chief factor determining Information work in developing countries should be poverty rather than affluence.
2. That Information work in developing countries differs markedly from Information work in developed countries.
3. That it is possible to gather a body of knowledge on how best to meet this challenge.
4. That Information workers must play an active role in the process of socioeconomic development.
This paper was originally presented al an Experts' Conference on Teaching Materials in Library Training, Berlin (West) 1 5-20th December. 1980. The author is Training Of beer, Tanzania Library Service, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
Libri 1982: vol.. 32, no 3. pp 241-250 0024-2667/82/030241-10 $02.50/0 © 1982 Munksgaard, Copenhagen 16 Libri 32:3
1.2 Information work and poverty
In Stating that Information work in underdeveloped countries should be based on poverty, I am saying something that could well be embarassingly self-evident. The division of the world into a rich North, and a poor South, is not only reflected in different levels of income, and the sharp difference in most things that make life bearable, but it divides the provision of Information with equal clarity.
In underdeveloped countries the common man is poor, illiterate and concerned with the basics of survival; more than four-fifths of his income is spent on food alone. He is hungry, undernourished, and diseases such as malaria, sleeping sickness, and cholera are his constant companions. Children suffer more than adults; kwashiakor and parasitic diseases claim many of their lives before they reach the age of ten. Only about 40% of the children complete primary school.
More than 90% of the people live in rural areas where transport and communication are very difficult. Within the urban areas, outside the enclaves inhabited by the elite, the majority of people live in slums, the so-called, "Shanty towns". The dwellings are overcrowded, and the level of housing is hopeless by any standards, human or otherwise.
Under-employment and unemployment is widespread, and it is not National Income that grows steadily year by year, but human deprivation and suffering. Another growth area concerns the birth rate, at 3% per year it is the "best" in the world.
This anatomy of poverty and social reality must surely determine the nature, objectives and philosophy of Librarianship in underdeveloped countries. Poverty dictates, for example, the pattern of Information services where the amount of money available per head is less than 1 shilling (10 pence). Such poverty is responsible for a lack of trained staff, a weak publishing industry, and half-empty shelves- in short this is a distinct and different world, one ruled by poverty, ignorance and disease. The factors outlined above are a formidable challenge to the Information Worker in underdeveloped countries and give Information Work a very different quality.
At this point there are three questions that need to be asked; what fundamental knowledge and skills does an Information worker need to work efficiently in such a situation? How can this knowledge be applied to the maximum benefit of the underdeveloped society? Is it possible to gather a body of knowledge on how best to meet this challenge? I cannot pretend to have ready-made answers. Obviously, a considerable amount of interdisciplinary research to these questions is needed to provide the answers required. However, a number of observations can be made.
Conferences and journals such as the present one, create in my view, the right environment in which strategies can be developed for best meeting these problems and assembling the required knowledge and skills of optimum use to Information workers in developing countries.
1.3 A body of knowledge to meet such challenges: My firm belief that it is quite possible to gather together a body of knowledge on how this challenge is best met was stated implicitly above. Such a task requires, primarily, a particular attitude of mind, and secondarily, a suitable methodology that will give the desired results.
The attitude required is one of open-mindedness and objectivity. We must be prepared to subject every aspect of Librarianship to vigorous criticism and evalution because, like it or not, we have to start from the known before moving on to the unknown. Through this selective adaption, it is possible to produce a considerable body of knowledge suitable for the needs of underdeveloped countries. The rest of the knowledge needed will, however, have to be derived from the existing situation and unique problems.
This will be a classic case of theories evolving from practice, rather than of theories being borrowed from abroad and applied misguidedly in a very different context. I dare to suggest that it is possible to produce a distinct body of knowledge suited to the needs of underdeveloped countries using these two methods.
At first, such knowledge will lack form; clearly defined limits and the harmony between one area and another may not always be apparent. Its strong potential will, however, lie in the fact that it is theoretical knowledge that has developed out of existing social problems. It will not be knowledge imported wholesale that is abstract and frequently irrelevant. Such knowledge could well be closer to sociology and the economics of underdevelopment than to traditional librarianship, as understood and practiced in the majority of underdeveloped countries today.
The critical part of this exercise is establishing what is relevant to a particular situation at a particular moment. It is this situational relevance that will shape the new theory of the Librarianship of poverty. Using this approach it could be possible to develop a theoretical framework regarding the following fields:
1. The pattern of Information services.
2. The role of information workers.
3. Existing social factors and their implications for Information workers.
4. Relationship between information work and socio-economic development.
Before proceeding to explore these four fields, I feel it should be emphasized that our colleagues the Economists, sociologists, political scientists and educators have done much work aimed at developing a theoretical base for their professions that is relevant to underdeveloped countries. With careful interdisciplinary comparative studies, we could learn a lot that would be of great value in this undertaking - if only we could for a moment think beyond our hallowed DDC's, Sears Lists, and cataloguing rules.
1.3.1 The pattern of Information Services must reflect the resources of the country.
This statement may be thought to be self-evident if it is realised that Information infrastructure depends on an economic base for financial support. In practice, however, most "planners" of Information units are not free of preconceived notions imported from the developed countries in which they did their training. The standards suggested for libraries in underdeveloped areas are often faithfully copied from British, American or Australian handbooks.
I suggest that an objective attitude may force it upon us that a fresh set of standards more closely related to the actual situation is needed. A start must be made from the basic position that the limited resources must be stretched to provide maximum social benefit. However, social benefit is a concept not easy to measure. It is very easy to confuse means with ends. Very often we take pride in giving "Statistics" covering library buildings constructed within the past five years, the number of motor vehicles purchased, and the librarians and technicians sent for training. This emphasis is sadly misplaced. It is like a motor-car manufacturer who tries to maximise not his output of cars but the number of his workers and the size of his factory.
Given a sum of money, say four million shillings (£ 200,000), we should be able to find out which alternative programme of expenditure would be of greatest benefit. Using costbenefit, and cost-effectiveness methods, we could establish the cheapest path to our goal. We could focus on the end product rather than the means.
These conditions of poverty mean that the need to make the most of limited resources in the provision of Information services is a basic strategy. The construction of libraries, the training of e.g., librarians, and the purchase of motor-vehicles are merely means to an end - they are not the goal of an Information unit in itself. The key question is: how many more people can we serve as a result of a certain item of expenditure?
Considering the majority of information units, we find that the wage bill is around 60% and the capital costs are very high. These two items of expenditure have hampered considerably the development of Information services in most underdeveloped countries. The ridiculous situation where there are cataloguers who are without incoming documents is all too common.
High capital expenditure is the outcome of trying to construct premises modelled on those existing in Europe and North America. The buildings are splendid, but because resources are severely limited, it means that only one or two of these imposing monuments can be erected in a decade. The process of spreading an Information Infrastructure throughout a country is considerably delayed by the adoption of this expensive policy. If we use cost-benefit methods, we may yet discover that it is the cheap, small, well-maintained buildings made of inexpensive building materials that are an important key to the faster growth of our Information services.
All this leads to the conclusion that the standards of Information services must be tailored to the economic ability of a country. If the pattern of Information services is pushed ahead of general economic development, standards will be set that can only be maintained in small pockets of the country. The lucky few may have a very good service, but most people will have no service at all, or a service that is inadequate and at prohibitive distances.
The planning of Information services in developing countries needs to be deliberately related to a particular time and place. The temptation to upgrade standards, complexity, and sophistication before extending coverage needs to be checked, for this "keeping up with the Jones"' results in prestige programmes that do little to extend the coverage of Information services while absorbing large sums of money and pools of skill.
There is yet another reason why plans having a low capital output ratio are to be preferred. Most developing countries have a constantly fluctuating economy because this depends on the export of a few main crops or products - so that as world prices fluctuate the economy alternates from slump to boom and back again in bewildering succession. Government revenues that depend on such earnings reflect these cycles - expensive plans initiated during boom periods act as a painful drain on funds during periods of slump.
1.3.2 The Role of Information workers
Most of the staff holding senior positions in underdeveloped countries have been trained on a background of Information work as practiced in industrialised countries. Not unexpectedly, the prevailing attitude is that this is the way in which users should behave, and the way in which Information services operate. My belief, already stated, is that this is an erroneous view of things because the lavish standards of service that exist in a typical developed country are impossible to maintain in a poor country, unless the objective is to provide an Information service for the fortunate few rather than the majority of mankind in developing societies. Indeed, this does, sadly, appear to be the unstated objective of many an Information service in developing countries. After more than 15 years of existence, and expenditure of millions of shillings, many public Library systems have not yet succeeded in serving more than 1% of the population of their areas.
In most underdeveloped countries, the number of documents per head is low, the average sum spent annually per head of the population is low, and trained staff per head of population is low. Despite these facts, a few favoured areas enjoy a standard of service shaped to European standards. If it took 15 years to reach 1% of the population, how long will it take to reach the remaining 99%? Will it take 99x15 years to serve the whole population? If the present trend continues, I am afraid this could be the case. We could unwittingly provide a service such as that characterised by Bill (1962):
"- a service supposedly for all, used by only a smallish minority, and found wanting by most."
In the area of manpower planning, care must be taken that the staff required are produced in sufficient quantities to keep pace with the development of the service. Because of the scarcity of resources, greater emphasis may have to be placed on technicians rather than on librarians.
In underdeveloped countries technicians play a different and more important role because of the shortage of librarians, and this situation will continue for the coming decade. The work done by technicians includes tasks such as cataloguing, indexing, readers' advisory work, bibliographic and literature searches - this is work of a more skilled nature than that done by their counterparts in developed countries - because there is no one else to do it.
The shortage of staff can be alleviated if all trained staff are made aware of their obligation to train those working under them. This approach will ensure a snowball effect, because the trained staff will themselves carry out training activities in their own Information units.
The scarcity of everything would seem to indicate that co-operation between Information units should result in economising on resources and overall benefits. Yet, as found in most underdeveloped countries, it is one thing to agree on the importance of co-operation, but a very different thing to practice it. There are some psychological barriers to co-operation that need to be overcome if libraries are to co-operate in our countries.
As already pointed out above, underdeveloped countries have very limited job and career opportunities. Attempts at initiating co-operative ventures are regarded with suspicion because the individuals concerned regard each other as potential rivals. Those with similar qualifications, working in the same field, regard anything achieved by someone else as a threat to their own position in this imaginary but fierce struggle for survival. It is very rare indeed to come across anyone prepared to subordinate his own interests to some broader social goal.
Furthermore, an exchange of fruitful ideas is sometimes very difficult because a senior person will not risk a loss of face by being seen to act on the advice or recommendation of anyone else- especially a junior- as this would seem to indicate that he acknowledges the superiority of someone else.
The conspicuous absence of union catalogues, union lists of serials and centralized cataloguing schemes, more than testifies to this psychological problem. Unless information workers come to realise that it is only by working as a group rather than against one another, that they can achieve their objectives and demonstrate to society what they are capable of doing - continued isolation and "one-up-manship" is a source of weakness and leads to overall ineffectiveness.
1.3.3. The Existing Social Factors and their Implications for Information Workers. A number of existing social factors lack of resources, plans based on Washington and London Standards, and phychological insecurity of information workers making co-operation impossible, etc., were considered in the previous sections of this paper. A further area not yet explored is education and the contradictory attitude of society towards this subject.
It has been pointed out by many a good writer that education is the main correlate of reading and library use, hence the greater the level of education, the greater the likelihood for utilising Library services. However, seen in the light of the experience of underdeveloped countries, this generalisation is not always true.
The decisive factor, is not just "education" alone; the kind of education that a person receives also determines the likelihood of his continued use of Libraries and information services in the community. To a very large extent, formal education in underdeveloped societies is dominated by cultural attitudes towards authority - be it parental, religious or political. The readily accepted attitude is to obey these sources of authority without question. The classroom is a microcosm of the larger society outside; education is largely an unquestioning acceptance of the teaching authority. Books and any reading matter play only a very minor part in the process. Lecture notes and a single textbook can see a student through his academic career. There is very little opportunity for innovation, experimentation, and objective analysis - even at university level.
It is quite plain that every aspect of our education system tends to discourage the formation of wide reading habits. Out of class, reading tasks are seldom assigned, or assigned as a mere formality. Should a student be bold enough to read widely and formulate his own ideas, or ideas in conflict with his class lectures, then he may well fail his examinations.
This narrow-mindedness is considerably reinforced by the examination system in most underdeveloped countries. Because of the limited opportunities available in secondary and high education, the purpose of examinations has now become not a test of a student's mastery of his subject, but primarily to serve as an obstacle to reduce drastically the number of those who go on to higher studies.
Having surmounted this hurdle, through fair means or foul, this tiny group assume the mental attitude of an elite - that they possess particular natural qualifications that are lacking in others. This pseudo-intellectual arrogance has often been articulated by the statement; "After graduation, the only thing I will ever read is the sports page of the daily newspapers".
This specific educational context has resulted in library services in underdeveloped countries having very limited demands - most of the stock is left permanently idle on the shelves to collect dust and mould. The social pressure to expand library services is minimal - to the majority libraries have very little social relevance. Not unexpectedly, the role of library services is still a limited one, and the status of this profession comparatively low.
Many librarians and government officials have failed to discern these underlying factors. Attempts to solve the problems have included the hiring of experts to advise on how to start information units and systems; the formulation of standards copied from Western countries, or requested for foreign aid. To date, most such efforts have not lived up to expectations. The foreign nationals leave the country and their model libraries speedily deteriorate to their former shambles, their textbook reports being filed away out of sight. The standards formulated fail to elicit any action other than temporary curiosity. Foreign aid continues to pour dollars, pounds kroner and Deutsche marks into the country. The slight impact that this aid has had proves that it is only of secondary importance in the development of Information services; money alone does not create an Information system that involves readers, premises, documents and staff. What is of primary importance for such services is local desire and initiative. Foreign aid can help but will never be decisive in the development of Information services in underdeveloped countries. In fact, its periodic availability may deceive planners into indulging in expensive plans left half finished when such aid comes to an end; or acquiring expensive gadgets for which no spare parts or software are forthcoming when the donors leave.
1.3.4 Relationship between Information work and socio-economic development. Socio-economic development concerns every organisation in underdeveloped societies. Information units cannot continue to isolate themselves from this social struggle aimed at giving people a better life. Every worker in an Information unit must study this historical process so as to determine what is expected of him. Anyone who shirks this task risks redundancy because, in the distribution of scarce resources, only those who can demonstrate that they are capable of producing a favourable cost-benefit balance will deserve the funds required. We have no right to expect anything else.
I suggest that having the right attitude is the most important factor in determining how actively Information Services will be involved in this struggle for survival. There is a need to be seen to provide Information geared to development in the fields of agriculture, industry, commerce, education and health. Unfortunately, the majority of Information workers in underdeveloped societies are timid in their approach and have a very limited vision of activities and ways in which Information services can participate in this social struggle. I strongly believe, that an Information worker devoted to national development, having a sense of mission and being committed to this social struggle, and understanding the importance and urgency of modernisation is likely to play an active and fully involved role. It is perhaps quite plain, too, that an Information Worker conditioned to view his job from European standards may come to consider his environment as backward and hopeless, and become a disillusioned misfit. On the other hand, an Information Worker who treats his environment as a positive challenge to be met and finally altered for the better, can became an involved agent of change.
It is only through such involvement in the struggle against the social enemies of poverty, ignorance, and diseases that the relevance of Information services can be firmly established. It takes hard thinking, hard work and patience.
This paper attempts to examine how Information services can be developed under conditions of poverty. Information workers must formulate terms of reference for their work consistent with the needs of underdeveloped countries. As this work has to be carried out under conditions of extreme poverty - scant resources must be streched to provide maximum benefit. Means must not be confused with ends: buildings, motor vehicles, and wages are not the objective, hence expenditure on these items can only be justified if it results in an increased number of users.
In order to develop a body of knowledge on how best to meet these challenges, an open-minded and objective attitude is needed. The methods that can be used to gather this body of knowledge include adaptation and experimentation relating to practical problems. The scarcity of resources must be reflected by: the pattern of Information services; the role of Information Workers; the way that Information Services are adapted to the locality concerned and the active participation of Information Workers in national development.
The pattern of Information services must reflect the economic ability of the country concerned rather than follow standards copied blindly from developed countries. The cost-benefit concept is vital in ensuring the optimum use of scant resources and that the cheapest alternative is followed. The pattern of Information services needs to be approached from the bottom upwards rather than from the top downwards. Small, cheap units, located close to where people actually live must come before large, sophisticated libraries.
Information workers need to develop an aggressive attitude and to participate fully in the social struggle for national development. There is also a need for cooperation in order to economise on scant resources. To achieve this, the present psychological problems must be rationalised and overcome. These are the result of the limited career opportunities available that lead people to regard others as rivals, and consider the accomplishments of others as a threat to their own positions. Another problem is a retrogressive education system that depends wholly on the teaching authority, and on a single text-book. Such a system does not lead to the formation of wide reading habits.
The conclusion is that Information Workers must look for solutions to their problems within their own societies rather than depending on foreign aid.
1. Asheim, L. Librarianship in the Developing Countries. Urbana, Illinois 1966.
2. Bill, A. H. The Library in the Community in Proceedings of the Annual Conference. The Library Association, 1962 p. 63.
3. Ilomo, C. S. Paraprofessional Library Training in Tanzania: Mimeo.
4. Mchombu, K. I. Information studies programme for Tanzania: A proposal Loughborough, 1979. (unpublished M. A. dissertation).
5. Minder, T. and Whitten, B. Basic Undergraduate Education for Librarianship and Information Science. Journal of Edu for Libr. vol. 15 no. 4, 1975 p. 25-270.
6. Kotei, S. I.-A. Preparing Teaching Materials for Library
Education in Ghana: A Historical
Account. Crit meeting, Arusha, 25-30 Nov. 1979.
Ermelinda Acerenza (Director of the EUBCA)
Teresa Castilla (Lecturer in Library Organization and Administration)
The developing countries are lagging behind in the establishment of national information systems because they lack the necessary infrastructures. Some countries, however - Brazil and Mexico, among others - are already making efforts to overcome this problem.
A plan for the development of an information policy may prove to be of consideral importance here.
It serves to channel general efforts towards priority sectors and also becomes an instrument for the integration of information units so as to make them more effective and functional in the future.
The situation prevailing in a given country is described by means of indicators whose preparation enables conclusions to be drawn concerning the transformations that must be made if the deadlock is to be broken and attainable development levels reached.
This strategy must be geared to relatively precise goals, and, more especially, goals that are capable of being achieved.
There is a better chance of attaining such targets with proper planning and monitoring, and this is an approach that has accordingly been adopted by the authorities in recent years.
The process of integration of the developing countries should be focused on the enhanced use of knowledge for the production of goods and services; this means that a more pragmatic approach should be adopted in appraising the course of scientific and technological development in these countries.
All of this involves a reordering of the different factors involved in the processes of creating, disseminating and using knowledge, and they should be evaluated on the basis of their contribution to technical changes in the production sector.
It is here that technical information emerges as an essential input of the innovatory process. Information constitutes a body of conceptual knowledge or data which may be transmitted and/or utilized.
The search for information, its processing, and its application constitute a type of assistance which is offered to the user.
But this is frequently not sufficient, especially when technological problems have to be identified and overcome. Supporting services accordingly come into play in order to cover the stages of the design, launching and implementation of projects.
2. Information policy
Information activities - as prerequisites for research - are essential in decision-making relating to science and technology policy and development. The transfer of information may stop certain bodies from keeping to their own narrow spheres; it may prevent the erroneous interpretation of research findings and their use in strengthening specific, elitist, technocratic positions.
The growing importance of information, in conjunction with technical assistance, constitutes an important change as a new ingredient in production; whatever divergencies there may be in economic forecasts for the coming years, the common denominator to be found in all is the fact that the service industries will probably show the highest growth rates.
Since it is the service industries, of all the economic sectors, which depend to the greatest extent on the transfer of information, it is to be hoped that there will be a parallel expansion in information as well as in the advisory services of specialists in the various branches of knowledge.
Ultimately all organizations seek gain; information services and technical assistance represent a form of investment and whoever is responsible for them is entitled to expect something in return.
The value of information and its growing cost are recognized and a market is being developed for this new consumer article with subscriptions for different types of services. Automatic communication with any part of the world is a reality today and its use is being rapidly extended. It is only a question of time and planning for these facilities to be included among the economic possibilities of information systems.
Information in conjunction with technical assistance, constitutes the basis for the progress of society, and many countries have, for this reason, studied the need for the more systematic planning of their present information infrastructures so as to enable them to make full use of the resources built up at the national level and to participate in the world information systems which exist already or which may come into being in the future.
It may be deduced from the above that planning is essential in all human activities and that information policy is no exception to this rule.
In every historical period, priority is assigned to the attainment of a certain order of things and the planning of information policies should therefore be flexible.
Planning means forecasting. In planning information policy, the form in which knowledge is growing and being systematized by culture must be borne in mind, as well as the ways and means required to transmit it to the users.
Plans should, therefore, be assessed and revised at frequent intervals.
It is also important, if an information policy plan is to have maximum effectiveness, to stress the following points:
- its specific objectives should be defined and practical results evaluated;
- goals and corresponding stages should be established;
- the resources available (human, material, financial and technological) should be ascertained;
- resources which are to make up the information system should be analysed, co-ordinated and integrated;
- meetings at the national level on the transfer of information should be promoted;
- an inventory of institutions should be carried out so as to identify the legal framework and the scientific and technological resources available to the country;
- information channels should be developed.
3. Objectives of the information policy and evaluation of its practical results
Objectives should be rank-ordered and an appropriate framework defined within which information needs will emerge and develop. For this purpose:
- measures should be taken to bring out the vital importance of obtaining, organizing, disseminating and utilizing information with a view to encouraging national development and integration, in the context of the production and evaluation of knowledge;
- there should be participation in the country's economic and social progress as a means of enhancing existing national resources so that information policy may be on a par with that of the developed countries;
- a legal framework should be established with provisions covering the theoretical basis of the national information system and technical assistance and also the component parts, including all the specialized units in specific areas;
- the importance of enhancing the interrelations existing between the various areas of information and their respective groups of users should be clearly established, having regard to the social danger represented by excessive fragmentation of knowledge and any monopoly over access to information;
- there should be awareness of the effectiveness of the policy being introduced, attention being given to the receptive capacity of those for whom the information is intended;
- the rapid progress of civilization should be reflected in the training of personnel on the basis of the most sophisticated techniques so that they may play a useful part in the implementation of national information policy;
- the appropriate infrastructure should be created for the purpose of introducing changes; it should be built up with a view to ensuring the full use of national resources and participation in existing information systems or those which may come into being in the future; the infrastructure should be developed in order to provide support for the functioning and continuity of the national system, consolidating theoretical bases, relations with the competent authorities and the technical and professional personnel, the aim being to ensure that the activities undertaken will produce constructive results.
All countries have political components which are bound to affect the system; efforts should accordingly be made, through appropriate strategies, to seek results in line with the objectives set, which will naturally differ from one country to another.
The methodologies, criteria and techniques of evaluation are essentially dynamic and should be geared to the strategic and technical modifications that may be involved in the development process.
A methodology applicable at all times and all places is inadvisable; on the contrary, it should be geared to the pace of the country's development in order to ensure its greater effectiveness.
The task of reconciling the micro-economic interests of the user with the macro-economic and social interests of the country constitutes, to a certain extent, the key to the forms of selection and the methodologies of evaluation of information and technical assistance.
Evaluation for what purpose? What should be evaluated? How should it be evaluated? When should it be evaluated?
Once the context has been ascertained, then the guidelines and criteria which may be used to set up an evaluation structure fall into place.
Evaluation is a rational and political process. It should be carried out at both the micro- and the macro-economic levels. At the micro-economic level, the factor of cost-effectiveness and the question of the utilization of information might be used as evaluation criteria. At the macro-economic level, the basis for evaluation is the use of information as an instrument of change in regard to the country's social and economic conditions which would subsequently enable the community to draw closer to its chosen goal.
The general features of the plan or the national programme have to be sought so as to obtain specific and practical criteria for use in evaluation. The establishment of criteria is of value only in providing a specific framework on the basis of which the evaluation itself might be made.
What is essential is to avoid a theoretical, general approach and to make the analysis as objective, feasible and practical as possible.
The cost of overall evaluation may turn out to be so expensive that it is no longer feasible. It is therefore important to evaluate services that are centralized by areas and are essential for the development of the country or for the strategy that it has established.
It is necessary to select leading sectors in which the operational bases of the nationally-organized mechanisms involved in development may be established.
Integrated evaluation should, from the initial stage of planning information policy seek to determine: the effects of the system as regards the benefits to be gained by those who will be using it; the basis for improving, justifying or giving up the system.
It is then, important to concentrate the use of the evaluation techniques, taking into account the following points:
1. formulation of national policies;
2. design of national information systems;
3. implementation of systems, considering:
- feasibility of the service,
- identification of the market,
- organization and strategy of development by stages.
The effectiveness of the evaluation of the practical results of the information policy may be gauged from:
-the quantity and quality of the activities being undertaken;
- the results of the efforts made;
- the extent to which the results obtained match up to the full needs of the service;
- the results obtained by comparing the efforts made with the means of attaining the objectives;
- research into the causes determining the desired results.
4. Goals and stages
The conceptual and philosophical framework described above constitutes the starting-point for the appropriate systematization of the stages to be covered.
The system is designed to be developed at the national level in successive stages, with distinct goals for the different periods.
In the stage to be planned first, the field of application will be confined to priorities established in national development plans. In subsequent stages the necessary steps will be taken to extend it to other sectors within the national territory.
The following points should be taken into account in implementing the system:
- identification and dissemination of its objectives;
- preparation of instruments such as will attain the objectives set;
- listing of existing information units and ensuring their co-ordination with a view to integration;
- analysing, describing, specifying and classifying their components;
- initiating the normal functioning of the system and making it operational;
- gearing it to the needs arising from its practical application;
- adjusting and adopting, on an experimental basis, the results of evaluation, with a view to the creation of a new model;
- making the competent authorities aware of the need for the system, and of its policy and characteristics;
- providing training, as far as possible, at the operational levels of the sectors assigned priority in the country's development plan;
- drawing up the profile of users;
- listing the needs of each specialized area;
- planning and providing for redistribution where imbalances exist, according to the list drawn up;
- preparing an appropriate policy to remedy weaknesses in information and ensure its steady growth;
- classifying the different variables which affect the problem, and designing the instruments required to establish the appropriate parameters;
- studying and putting into effect the channelling mechanisms that will lead to centralization;
- providing advice to the component units and improving the information and analysis services.
The following methods will be employed in working towards the objectives set:
- field studies;
- meetings with technicians in the specialized areas;
- organization of seminars and training courses in specialized subjects and skills;
- use of techniques in line with the economic possibilities of the country involved.
5. Structural aspects
The strategy for developing structural aspects includes, as its first stage, the generation of a process of 'outward' growth so as to provide the foreign currency required to finance investments.
Various methods may be used, individually or jointly, in drawing up the strategy:
- increasing the number of components in the system;
- changing the techniques used, replacing traditional methods by more advanced techniques for data processing and retrieval;
- increasing effectiveness.
Use of the first two methods requires general agreement concerning their application.
In the case of the second, it should be pointed out that it has the advantage of being the development strategy which leads to the most rapid growth in information processing.
The third method, that of increasing effectiveness, should remain the fundamental basis of the strategy for developing the system.
Countries should make considerable efforts to step up the process of introducing technology and modernizing the whole of their resources.
Once all the data have been compiled, a reply can be given to all the queries concerning the technological level (use of inputs, current practices, information processing, outputs, human resources, etc.). This, in turn, calls for the effective interrelating of the various capacities so as to ensure that the technological progress achieved is turned to full account.
As a result, there should be a focal point or central unit - whose purpose is to carry out all the necessary studies and research, formulate policies and co-ordinate programme implementation - which will work with the information units in each specialized area, namely those units responsible for putting into effect the methods approved. This whole process will be carried out under the technical guidance of the central unit.
The success of the system calls for:
- institutional consolidation (central unit and units in areas of specialized information);
- official support from the highest authorities;
- active assistance of the library specialist who will be responsible for translating the goals proposed into reality;
- the replacement of manual techniques by an appropriate form, in both qualitative and quantitative terms, of advanced data processing;
- the channelling of information to the data preparation and processing centres.
In anticipation of these operations, the countries concerned should strengthen and improve:
- the master plan for computerization and its implementation aspects;
- the structure of the computer centres;
- the training of programmers, operators, systems analysts and administrators for the main computer centre;
- the training of information science specialists.
6. Professional training
This aspect should not be neglected in librarianship studies. The institutes which provide such training should come under a university or have university support, and they should also be recognized by the competent authorities.
The important thing is for the librarian to be an information specialist, trained to participate in the preparation of new structures in the developing countries, responsible for all aspects of research concerning the design, supervision and development of information systems at a high level, capable of taking decisions regarding operational, executive, technological, organizational and administrative matters in libraries and archives.
He should also be able to operate at the following levels:
- the hierarchical level - management of information systems of a high level, with responsibility for methodology and organization of information;
- the research level - documentation and information sciences;
- the technical level - implementation of systems-based operations;
- the technical auxiliary level - for routine operations in support of the higher levels.
There will be a potential for development at each level, providing bases and points of growth that will enable new practices to be implemented in order to further national development.
The decade of the 1970s took the developing countries - which were going through transitional stages - by surprise in regard to the use of new methods for information handling. Traditional methods were abandoned and replaced by more sophisticated procedures regarded as semi-automatic, including the system of co-ordinate indexing known as the uniterm method.
Since programmes should contribute to national understanding, curricula should cover two main sectors:
- studies based on traditional systems;
- studies in which emphasis is given to the information sciences and the automatization of libraries.
In the teaching of library science, the fact has to be faced that we have entered a period in which libraries are abandoning current structures and are becoming part of national systems, with a view to integration at the international level, involving mastery of advanced techniques. As the number of libraries using traditional methods decreases, so studies should be directed towards support for national information policy.
Information policy is bound to make steady progress over the next five years and the developing countries will require more efficient systems involving the use of the necessary data-processing technology. They must therefore establish appropriate forward plans so as to be able to cope with the changes that will take place.
The plan submitted must satisfy the acutely felt need for the efficient dissemination of the knowledge built up in the country and abroad; it should increase the total sum of knowledge and improve the individual capacities of each country. It is impossible to move from a complete absence of activities to full operational level in one stride. Since implementation will certainly involve considerable effort and outlay, it seems appropriate to consider the real possibilities of putting such a plan into effect. From the point of view of implementation capacity, it has to be recognized that this is one of the variables to be considered in the short term. On this basis it should be possible to attain the growth rates required, and this accordingly means that there is a greater possibility of being able to reach the goals fixed.
The financing of the plan should be ensured more especially by the generation of resources through public or private enterprises, as appropriate. This would be the best way of guaranteeing the achievement of the planned targets.
8. Bibliographical references
Libraries in factories and large firms, Maria BRAZ, Unesco Bulletin for Libraries, Vol. 22, No. 5, September-October 1968, pp. 236-240.
Ciencia e industria: un caso argentino/Alberto Araoz, Carlos Martinez Videl - Washington: OEA, 1974.
DEVSIS disereliminar de un sistema internacional de informaciara las ciencias del desarrollo/Grupo de Estudio DEVSIS, Geneva, 1975 - Ottawa: CIID, 1976.
Directrices para la evaluacie seminarios, reuniones de trabajo pricos y cursos de formaciobre informaci documentaciientificas y ticas/ F.W. Lancaster - Montevideo Unesco Regional Office for Science and Technology for Latin America and the Caribbean, 1976.
Guidelines for the organization of training courses, workshops and seminars in scientific and technical information and documentation/Pauline Atherton; Paris, Unesco, 1975.
Information science education and development; Tefko Saracevic; Unesco Bulletin for Libraries, Vol. 31, No. 3, May-June 1977, pp. 134-141.
Final report of UNISIST/Seminar on the Education and Training of Users of Scientific Information, Rome, 1976 - Paris, Unesco, 1976. Information services in industry: the future prospects/B.C. Burrows - ASLIB Proceed.-s 25 (10): pp. 364-374, October 1973.
Information transfer in the industrial environment: the requirements of industry/David Rowe - ASLIB Proceed.-s 25 (11): pp. 425-429, November 1973.
Informe sobre servicios de informaci asistencia tica a las empresas/ Reuniel Grupo de Trabajo creado por la resoluciG/RES. 233 (VI-0/76). Washington, 1977 - Washington: OEA, 1977.
National planning of documentation and library services in Arab countries/ Expert Meeting, Cairo, 1974. Bull. Unesco Libr.-s 28 (4): pp. 182-187, July/ August 1974.
NATIS preliminary survey of education and training programmes at university level in information and library science/D.J. Foskett - Paris, Unesco, 1976.
Pay as you go: plan for satellite industrial libraries using academic facilities/James B. Dodd - Spec. Libr.-s 65 (2): pp. 66-72, February 1974.
Plan nacional de desarrollo 1973-1977/SEPLACOD (Uruguay) - Montevideo. Presidencia de la Repa, 1977.
Problems and prospects in information service for small industry/ K. Bhattacharyya - Jour Librarian 5 (4): pp. 264-292, October 1973.
Proposed terms of reference for the implementation phase of the Latin American Technological Information Network (RITLA): paper prepared for the Meeting of Experts, Mexico, 1977/Personal invitation, convened at the Headquarters of the Permanent Secretariat - Mexico, 1977.
Service to industry by independent research libraries/William S. Buddington Libr. Tre.-s 14 (3): pp. 288-294. January 1966.
Sistema cientifico y tico nacional/CONYCYT - Montevideo, 1974.
La transmisiapida de informacireliminar en ciencia y tecnologia/ T. Ohoherha-Bol. Unesco Bibl.-s 27 (4): pp. 221-224, July/August 1973.
Uruguay: sistema nacional de informaciientca y tica/Betty Johnson de Vodanovic - Montevideo, Unesco Regional Office for Science and Technology for Latin America and the Caribbean, 1977.
Model for a national information system (DRAFT)
Retrospective documentary information is important because virtually no sector of the national economy, science or culture can advance without scrutinizing and drawing upon the lessons of the past. Such information is particularly timely at the present stage of the development of society, when the gathering pace of scientific and technological progress has become a decisive factor in raising the effectiveness of social production.
Meeting society's needs in regard to retrospective documentary information is one of the basic functions of the State archive services of the countries of the socialist community. It was therefore highly relevant to discuss, at the meeting of archivists of the countries of the socialist community, the problem of organizing the utilization of archive material for national economic purposes.
General. For the archive institutions of the countries of the socialist community, the notion of utilization of material to serve national economic interests includes primarily full utilization of the information contained in the material for the purpose of tackling present-day economic development tasks.
The utilization of material for national economic purposes is understood by archivists in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to cover reference to the documentary information of ministries and departments, research and design institutions, enterprises and other organizations in forecasting and planning the country's economic development, improving management and accounting, executing planning and experimental design work and applied research, optimizing production and technological processes, and so on.
Archive material - chiefly scientific, technological and cartographic documentation - is used in the planning, construction and reconstruction of water-management works, communications infrastructures, industrial enterprises and public buildings, in geological prospection and mining, in the restoration of historical and cultural monuments and in the further development of agricultural production, forestry and environmental protection.
Extensive use of retrospective information is made in all countries of the socialist community when preparing plans for irrigation works, constructing reservoirs and conducting operations in connection with river regulation, protecting banks from overflowing and flooding, and so on. In the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, for example, material presented by archivists was drawn upon for planning major hydraulic works on the Song Koi and projecting the exploitation of the Mekong Delta. Geographical, geological and hydrological material has been used by Vietnamese specialists in connection with the establishment of hydrological improvement schemes and the construction of hydroelectric power plants, including that on the Da Dung (the largest in South-East Asia).
Soviet archive material was used in the reconstruction of the cascade of hydrosystems on the Dnieper, in the elaboration of comprehensive water-management plans for the Zeya and Selenga, Kura and Naryn and northern rivers, in the designing of a dyke to protect Leningrad from flooding, and in other schemes.
The archives of a number of socialist countries (Bulgaria, the German Democratic Republic, Poland, Romania, the USSR and Viet Nam) make their material available to organizations concerned with the planning, construction and reconstruction of roads, railways and bridges. In particular, archive material was used in connection with the strengthening of bridges over the Osum in Bulgaria, the reconstruction of the 'Unity' railway line between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Viet Nam, railway electrification, construction and reconstruction of motorways and the routing of new highways in the German Democratic Republic, the rebuilding of a railway bridge over the Warta in Poland, the construction of railway lines in Slovakia, and the planning of the Baikal-Amur line in the USSR.
The study by specialists of maps, plans and other material from geological prospections of earlier years and of information on the occurrence of mineral resources has assisted the extension and intensification of their mining, renewed industrial exploitation of previously abandoned pits and mines and the reconstruction and modernization of mining and other industrial enterprises in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and the USSR.
In all countries of the socialist community active recourse is had to archive material in connection with the restoration of historical and cultural monuments and the reconstruction and repair of residential and public buildings and urban communications. Some instances of this have been the reconstruction of the Higher Medical Institute building in Bulgaria; the construction of the 'Poznan' hotel and the repairing of the swimming pool at the Olympic stadium in Wroclaw and the reconstruction of a number of parks, including Srebrna G in Poland; and the rehabilitation of historic centres in Bratislava, Kremze, Levoca and elsewhere in Czechoslovakia. Material from the State archives of the USSR has been made available to organizations working on the restoration of the structural complex of the Moscow Kremlin, architectural monuments in old Russian cities forming part of the 'Golden Ring', parts of the suburbs of Leningrad, the main street of Kiev - the Kreshchatik - and much else.
In recent years specialists engaged in agriculture and forestry in all the countries of the socialist community have been making increasingly frequent use of archive material. On the basis of such material, Vietnamese agronomists carried out work on such crops as tea, rice, coffee and rubber; Hungarian specialists investigated archives in order to determine the influence of Lake Balaton on agriculture; study by German scientists of data regarding the composition of forest stands in former years assisted preparation of a long-term plan for national forestry development; in Poland, information on ponds and reservoirs was of assistance in measures to develop fishing in the Dolny Slazk region; and representatives of the Higher Agricultural School of Slovakia made use of archive material in work on the improvement of agricultural crops and livestock species.
Considerable work is done by Soviet archives on organizing the utilization of material in the interests of agricultural development. In pursuance of the decision of the March 1965 Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CC/CPSU) 'on urgent measures to secure the further development of agriculture in the USSR', the 1974 decision of the CC/CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR 'on measures to secure the further development of agriculture outside the Black-Earth Zone of the RSFSR', the decisions of the 1982 May and November Plenums of the CC/CPSU and the tasks set in his speech to the November 1982 Plenum by Y.V. Andropov, General Secretary of the CC/CPSU, State archives make available to interested organizations material throwing light on the development of agriculture: on the zoning and structure of sown areas, crop pest control, the breeding of various species of livestock, the growing of experimental cereal and feed crops, irrigation and field-protection works, the utilization of reservoirs for fish breeding, and so on.
Retrospective documentary information is also used in the USSR in the preparation of State instruments and government decisions. For instance, when preparing the Land Act and the Cadastral Survey specialists studied sets of material on arable and pasture lands and soil maps; in the preparation of a number of decisions on environmental protection, use was made of control regulation documents specifying nature protection measures.
Archive material is extensively drawn upon by scientists and specialists for forecasting and forward planning of the socio-economic development of the USSR, of particular branches of the national economy and of individual regions of the country
A variable amount of working time is spent on organizing the utilization of archive material in the countries of the Socialist community for national economic purposes. While Czechoslovak archivists spend on such documentary work about 4 per cent of the time allotted to scientific information activity, the corresponding proportions in Hungary and Romania are as much as 20 per cent. Such activity accounts for over 50 per cent in the case of Vietnamese archivists, and in Bulgaria, the German Democratic Republic, Poland and the USSR it averages 10 per cent.
Communist parties and governments of countries of the socialist community attach great importance to State archives as sources of information on national economic matters. Many legal instruments and guidance documents contain provisions encouraging the use of archive information. For instance, a number of decisions of the Party and Government of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam point to the need to have recourse to archive material when organizing 'specialized works'. A circular signed by President do Chi Minh on 3 January 1946, the first standard-setting instrument of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam on archive administration, contains recommendations on the use of archive material in development work aiding the national economy.
A Hungarian extraordinary decree of 1969, in a section concerning the regulation of clerical work, emphasizes the need to devise such a system of organizing departmental records as will serve the interests of the national economy.
A 1976 decision of the Government of the German Democratic Republic on State archives makes it their main duty to supply information to State and national economic bodies and institutions. Legislation on specific branches of the national economy also indicates the need to make use of archive material.
The 1971 Decree on National Archives of the Socialist Republic of Romania provides for a number of measures intended to stimulate the information activity of archive institutions for national economic needs.
In the USSR, work on the utilization of material in the interests of the national economy began in the earliest years of Soviet archive construction. Lenin's decree of 1 June 1918 'on the reorganization and centralization of archives in the RSFSR', which is a basic instrument of archivists, emphasizes that archive material is centralized 'for purposes of optimum scientific utilization'.
The tasks of archives in aiding the national economy have been reflected in a number of legislative instruments of the Soviet Government on archive management. In particular, the 1980 Statute concerning the State Archives of the USSR singles out the utilization of archive material for national economic purposes as one of the main policy lines for State archives.
Work on arranging for the utilization of documentary resources for national economic purposes is organized by the archives of all countries of the socialist community, on the basis of socio-economic development targets set by Communist Party Congresses.
In the matter of utilization of archive material Soviet archivists are primarily guided by the decisions of the CPSU Congresses and the decisions of the Party and Government regarding economic, scientific and cultural development. At the present-day stage, such programme-setting material is provided by the decisions of the 26th CPSU Congress, which approved the 'Basic lines of economic and social development of the USSR for 1981-1985 and in the period to 1990', and the decisions of the May and November 1982 Plenums of the CPSU Central Committee.
Drawing upon such material, the State archives make documentary information available to ministries, departments and organizations for working out the country's practical socio-economic development tasks, thereby helping to establish the material and technical base of communism. Special impetus was given to the utilization of archive material, for national economic ends included, in the jubilee year of 1982, which was celebrated by all the peoples of the Soviet Union in commemoration of the triumph of Lenin's national policy.
Organizational bases. In all countries of the socialist community archive bodies fulfil a co-ordinating and directing role in organizing the utilization of State records for national economic purposes. This work is provided for in long-term and annual plans of archive institutions and conducted in close contact with interested establishments and organizations.
In planning scientific information activity, a particularly important factor is knowledge of the requirements of the national economy regarding retrospective information. Archives therefore study State and regional economic plans, organize joint discussions with potential users of archive material on matters of information activity and investigate the subject-matter of research conducted via reading rooms. It has become a firmly established practice for many archives in the USSR to harmonize and clarify the subject matter of record disclosure concerning national economic problems with users of documentary information.
Archives conduct theoretical elaboration of the problem of studying social requirements regarding retrospective documentary information. Great interest, for example, is aroused by the work of Bulgarian archivists on 'user demand for documentary information in agriculture', 'user demand for documentary information for social management purposes' and other themes.
In the Soviet Union, in accordance with the 1981-1985 five-year plan for the development of archive administration, a study is made of society's need for retrospective information, and the intensity of record utilization, for national economic purposes included, is investigated.
In the archives of all countries of the socialist community the provision of archival information for the national economy is free of charge. Alongside this, in order to satisfy the maximum number of applications for disclosure of requisite material, inclusive of that serving national economic needs, a number of central State archives of the USSR have established special subdivisions fulfilling the orders of institutions, organizations and enterprises on a contractual basis (for payment according to approved tariffs).
The utilization of material for national economic purposes is, as a rule. organized by trained personnel in close contact with specialists in the various branches of the national economy. For example, such co-operation is effected in connection with the disclosure of material concerning mining (Czechoslovakia and the German Democratic Republic).
The utilization of material for national economic needs in archives of all the countries of the socialist community is recorded by means of an established in-house statistical system, usually on index cards by subject of disclosed material.
Forms of information. In order to provide interested ministries, departments, institutions and organizations with retrospective documentary information, archive establishments adopt a variety of working procedures, including the preparation on their own initiative of information material (letters, reviews, lists, information sheets, etc.); the utilization of surveys on national economic topics; the issuing of material to specialists in reading rooms; the preparation of copies of material or provision of the originals for temporary use; the mounting of documentary exhibitions; the holding of meetings of archive personnel with representatives of interested organizations; and the release of information to the press, radio and television about archive material.
In view of the great importance of the utilization of archive material for national economic development, archivists of all countries of the socialist community take the initiative in providing unsolicited information to interested institutions regarding the availability of material on particular subjects to which recourse may be had when studying specific problems or tackling practical assignments in connection with national economic development.
Many examples can be cited of such exceedingly useful information prepared by archives of the countries of the socialist community. Bulgarian archivists, for instance, provided interested institutions with lists of documents on 'tobacco-growing in the Blagoevgrad area, 1934-1944', 'socialist reorganization of agriculture in the Lovech area, 1944-1958', 'industrial development in the Pleven area, 1900-1947' and other themes.
In the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam information letters were prepared on material concerning investigations of marine currents at the Hamrong Rapids and prevention of silting of the rapids, construction of a deep-water port in Along Bay, the hydrographic regime of rivers, a river-dam system and work on protection against flooding and hurricanes.
Soviet archivists regard the provision of anticipatory information as one of the most important and forward-looking forms of their work. The USSR Central State Archive of the National Economy (CGANH) has informed ministries and departments, research establishments, industrial combines, enterprises and branch scientific and technological information centres about sets of documentary material describing the development of the various branches of the national economy (power engineering, machine-building, the chemical industry, transport, agriculture, etc.). The Central State Archives of Scientific and Technological Documentation of the Byelorussian SSR made available to planners a list of documents on items located along the route of the metropolitan railway under construction. The Central State Archive of Scientific, Technological and Medical Documentation of the Azerbaidjan SSR sent the appropriate organizations information about material on the history of the oil industry, extraction of oil from the sea-bed, the development of deep drilling for oil, and the construction of oil and gas pipelines. Uzbek and Kazakh archivists have provided interested organizations with material containing information about the water resources and irrigation works of those republics.
It should be noted that in most archives of the socialist countries a system exists for the selective distribution of information prepared on the initiative of the archives. In some cases a subscription system operates whereby users can be informed of the availability in the archives of material on a particular topic. Under this system, institutions receiving such information are required to report back to the archives on how it is used.
Archivists in a number of countries (Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and the USSR) prepare synoptic reports containing both information on existing material and an assessment of its importance to the user. In the Slovak Socialist Republic, for example, such reports are prepared at the request of ministries, government departments and working groups of symposia, seminars, conferences and meetings.
Romanian archives have compiled consolidated reports on 'mining maps of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries', 'prospection for and extraction of ores and other mineral resources', 'works on the study and analysis of mineral deposits', 'land-reclamation projects and plans; and other themes.
Experience has been amassed in the USSR of the preparation of analytical summaries of documents on the development of individual branches of industry that are of assistance to interested organizations in their practical work.
To provide greater opportunities for the utilization of material, archives issue various reference works containing information about material touching upon national economic problems. An example of such a publication is the directory of the holdings of the USSR Central State Archives of the National Economy concerning the history of building organizations between 1917 and 1957. Hungarian archivists have drawn up international consolidated information, the year 1980 seeing the publication of the guide 'Capitals of Europe. Sources for the history of architecture', which contains valuable information on material concerning the history of the cities and the architectural monuments of European capitals. In Bulgaria, brief information publications are brought out on individual archives providing particulars of the largest and most informative archive holdings.
In organizing information activity, archivists of the countries of the socialist community attach great importance to studying and applying the most effective methods of making archival information available to interested institutions. Thus, the Polish research collective 'Informatics and archives' concerns itself with elaborating methods of information work, and also determining advance subject-matter for the disclosure of material of national economic significance. Hungarian archivists are working on a programme for the use of computer technology in keeping a record of holdings and content of archive material, which makes for fuller satisfaction of national economic requirements. Computers are also being used to elaborate a forward-looking programme for the development of Hungarian archives up to the year 2000, one of whose basic tasks is to raise the effectiveness of archive utilization for national economic purposes.
A considerable part of the work of archive institutions is represented by organization of the consultation of material in reading rooms, where national economic specialists are given every opportunity of obtaining exhaustive information on a given subject.
In all archives researchers are able to obtain photocopies and microfilms of material. Essential technical documentation, particularly when it comes in large format, is lent to institutions.
One way in which interested institutions and enterprises are notified of material on national economic subjects is the holding of meetings between archivists and national economic specialists. Archivists now deliver reports more frequently at meetings in scientific institutions and establishments and in enterprises.
Supplying society with the necessary documentary information nowadays requires the devising of new methods of information retrieval for archives, based on modern technology. For this purpose, an automated scientific and technological information system is being established in the Soviet Union, based on the central holdings catalogue of the principle archive of the USSR, together with an automated information retrieval system for the thematic entity 'Architecture and urban development of Moscow, Leningrad and their suburbs'.
Plans for the establishment of automated information retrieval are being actively worked out by Romanian archivists.
Study of the effectiveness of utilization of material. In making documentary information available, archival institutions take great interest in how the information is used and how effective it is. In this connection, account is taken of the interest shown by users in information material as reflected by orders for subsequent thematic amplification of holdings and for copies of material, the sending of specialists for work in archive reading rooms, and the utilization of archive material for preparing national economic plans, scientific studies, and so on.
Furthermore, Romanian archivists include among the criteria of effective utilization of material the growing attention given by institutions using archive material to the organization of their own departmental records.
Archive institutions of all countries of the socialist community regard study of the effectiveness of information work as an important link in the overall system of utilization of material. To this end, they conduct a periodical collection of information from institutions regarding the economic benefit derived from using documentary information in preparing projects for the reconstruction of communication infrastructures, hydrotechnological constructions and urban communication networks, and in the restoration of monuments of history and architecture, and so forth.
Interesting work in this direction has been conducted by archivists in the German Democratic Republic, who have gathered data on the effectiveness of utilization of archive material by ministries, departments and other national institutions over a number of years. In the case of the Freiberg branch of the Dresden State Archive, it has been confirmed on documentary evidence that the annual economic benefit accruing from the utilization of material from that archive alone averages 1.2 million ostmarks.
Archives in Bulgaria and the USSR send out to institutions, together with information documents, specially prepared questionnaires - with a request to complete and return them. On the basis of the information so obtained, Bulgarian archivists prepared scientific studies on the themes: 'The economic effect of utilization of technical documents in the practical work of institutions' and 'Assessing the effectiveness of utilization of archive material'.
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Work on the utilization of material in the interests of the national economy occupies a considerable place in the activity of all archival institutions of the countries of the socialist community. Archives provide party, State and economic organs and scientific institutions with retrospective information, which is of assistance in tackling a great many important practical tasks.
The problem of organizing retrospective information in the interests of economic, cultural and scientific development is nowadays becoming an all important matter for archival institutions. When organizing the utilization of archive material in the interests of the economy - for the purposes of planning, improving organizational structure and management methods and carrying out design and restoration work - archivists make their contribution to the socio-economic development of the socialist countries.
The work of archival institutions in meeting the requirements of the national economy regarding essential retrospective information has been recognized by party and government organs and by ministries, departments, institutions and enterprises. An ongoing task of archivists is to raise the scientific standard of information work, extend anticipatory information for institutions in the economic sector and put this work on a planned footing.
The efficacy of scientific information activity depends to a great extent on knowing retrospective information requirements, which makes it possible to meet not only existing but also potential demand. An important task therefore is to extend contacts and co-operation between archives and ministries and departments, research institutions and industry, chiefly at the work planning stage.
A by no means insignificant aspect is the establishment of feedback from users such as will enable archives to obtain advice in their investigation work concerning requisite retrospective information, and also in turn to provide systematic instruction for representatives of institutions in the economic sector in methods of utilizing archive material.
Questions of improving the work of archives are in a number of countries bound up also with the establishment in State archives of special sections or groups of personnel required to deal solely with the preparation of material to be used for economic purposes, this being the case in Bulgaria and Slovakia. Vietnamese archivists are proposing to discuss the desirability of upgrading archive workers by instructing them in a specific range of skills concerned with major branches of the economy or of involving specialists from economic branches in the work and familiarizing them with archive administration methods.
Of great importance for improving the information work of archives is research connected with elaborating new forward-looking forms and trends in the utilization of material, methods for studying the formation of society's requirements regarding archival information and the trends and patterns of their development.
Archival institutions are faced with a number of tasks concerning improvement of reference arrangements in regard to holdings and the establishment of new information retrieval systems. The successful completion of all these tasks will serve the further advancement of archive administration in the countries of the socialist community, in keeping with the present-day demands made of State archive services.
(Report presented to the VIIIth International Congress on Archives, Washington, D.C., 27 September-1 October 1976.)
The subjects chosen for the International Congress on Archives: "The Special Utility of Archives in Developing Countries" has raised numerous problems.
Concerning the topic, we have asked ourselves the following questions:
1. Can we speak of the special utility of archives in developing countries?
2. Are not the ends of an archival service the same in developing countries and in developed countries?
Concerning the preparation of our study, we were given the freedom to choose our method: to give an authoritative report of our conception of the role of an archival service in developing countries, or to use a questionnaire and then make a synthesis of the results.
We preferred the first method; nevertheless we called upon our colleagues in Senegal, Upper Volta, and Niger and asked them to give us their thoughts upon the subjects.
Only Senegal sent us a reply, and we extend our deepest thanks to our colleague, Mr. Mbaye, for sending us a few lines upon the subject, enabling us not to limit ourselves to the Ivory Coast's conception of archives and their role in the struggle for development.
One of the characteristics of developing countries is that they are faced with many problems occurring at the same time. In fact, these countries must not only make up for their delay, but also must keep up with technological progress in order to attain their objectives.
This special situation leads them to make relatively greater and more numerous efforts at the economic, social, and cultural level than advanced countries.
In order to carry out activities simultaneously in all these areas, under present conditions the developing countries have only one implement: the government. In fact, in the majority of these countries, the government, often still embryonic, is the only truly organized institution. For this reason, it is responsible for programming economic, social and cultural development.
The basis of administrative work is the management of records. This must be done consistently and efficiently. In fact, it must be done not only to avoid wasting time, money, and personnel resources, but also to do everything to ensure that the choices made by the people responsible are the best possible choices. The control of records cannot be achieved unless the people responsible have a complete understanding of how records are created. For this reason, in the developing countries, the archives constitute an inexhaustible source of information upon which the government can always draw.
Therefore, the government must turn to these sources of information in order to carry out their mission. The absence of national archival systems and intermediate records management systems handicaps the administrator, whereas a consistent system of records management and archives administration allows the administrator to contribute effectively to the economic, social, and cultural development of his country. Therefore, archives are an administrative tool and a preliminary necessity for planning national development.
These findings have led certain developing countries like the Ivory Coast to embark upon the utilization of "data processing", a computerized information retrieval system whose uses are related to the economic', scientific, and cultural aspects of development.
On the economic level, these countries have inherited the structures of the colonial economy. Therefore, agriculture was oriented toward the production of raw materials for exportation, whereas industry was devoted to the manufacture of current products. Today, these countries must concentrate upon the development and maximum utilization of agriculture as well as mined resources necessary in order to obtain the currencies provided by exports, and, in addition, to base modern transformation industries upon these resources.
The government is essentially concerned with economic research. The optimum development of the material and human potentialities of developing countries can only be carried out successfully to the extent that these countries' resources are estimated at their true value. Such an estimation implies that a large number of evaluation operations have been carried out successfully, operations which-can only be envisaged if archival documents conserved in the national depositories are available.
Planning constitutes a fine illustration of the role that archives are beginning to play within the framework of economic development. Planning is, in fact, giving consideration to the broad trends in economic, social, and cultural fields. Therefore, planning in itself is a way of organizing the present through a scientific study of the future. Nevertheless, in order to be realistic, planning must be based upon an evaluation of the country's situation which is as complete and as exact as possible. Such an evaluation can be prepared using studies of earlier developments of the amount of progress accomplished over the years in the different sectors of national life.
The information that allows planners to perceive significant trends is contained in archival documents, to which they must refer continuously. For example, working out the details of an industrialization program implies that a very complete examination of raw materials, labor, methods of transportation, cost prices, and markets has been made. This information - statistics, research carried out by the different government services... - puts the planners in a position to make a Judicious choice among the different industrial projects which have been proposed a priori.
This exam-pie of analysis based upon records, especially prepared by the government services responsible for planning, illustrates clearly how important the large amount of information contained in archival documents can be for situations related to economic development. And this development is only one field in which the archives can be of use.
In fact, while very useful for defining and guiding economic development, archives have uses that are no less important in scientific and cultural fields.
In fact, archives are in a position to make a specific contribution to national scientific research in developing countries. National scientific research did not begin with these countries' accession to independence.
For example, in the Ivory Coast, long before the creation of the ministry of scientific research, many research units were in existence:
- The Institute for research in cotton and foreign textiles
- The French Institute for research in fruits
- The French Institute for coffee and cocoa
- The Institute for research in oils and oil seeds, etc.
These institutes conducted various studies in the agricultural field, rightly considered as a basic element in a country's development. In many cases the new nations, when carrying out research, start from studies that were conducted during the colonial era. Conserving records of past experimentation makes it possible to avoid repeating experiments that are sometimes lengthy, difficult, and costly, and leads to appreciable savings of time and money.
On the cultural level in developing countries, it is the government's duty to give the people confidence by helping them to discover their national identity. In this case archives, containing source material indispensable for writing history, are again the privileged auxiliaries of the government.
If, in the majority of European nations, there is no problem of national consciousness, it is not the same for the majority of developing countries. Therefore, in these countries, writing history brings together and unifies seemingly disparate elements that actually arise from the same sources.
Because in many cases history makes it possible to avoid allowing ethnic problems to become an obstacle to the flowering of the country, archives, an unequalled source of materials for serial history, take part in development. The study of budgets, commerce records, and censuses is A fertile field for the statistical historian.
The history of daily life can be seen in a new light through the records of notaries and clerks which have been placed in the record centers of the developing countries.
Because archives make it possible for history to be written, they take part in development and have a special purpose in this field as well.
It is appropriate to refer to a passage from an article by Mr. Locou, Instructor at the Department of Literature of the University of Abidjan, entitled "African History in our time," in order to convince ourselves, if need be, of the special usefulness of archives, containing an unequalled source of historical materials that also take part in national development.
History cannot be simply an academic discipline, indifferent to the problems of development. Some people might be surprised to learn of the relationship between history, a study of society's past, and development, of ten understood to be the only form of material progress. We have moved away from this narrow and over-simple conception of development. Development is a global process of the transformation of society, that must be organized, directed, and maintained from within. Therefore, development implies national agents who are aware of this necessity.
Information and historical reflection are powerful factors in achieving a sense of consciousness; they develop the sense of, and the inclination for, collective action; they make it possible to understand the origin Or present problems, and not only in a concrete way through the examples they provide. Above all, in our countries that have suffered from the depersonalization brought about by colonial domination, history is the privileged instrument for countering alienation: the alienation of youth, the alienation of the people, who are able to shed the heavy burden of old prejudices and to free themselves from complexes accumulated over a long period of time through scientific enlightenment about their condition.
This effort at countering alienation must promote a sense of national consciousness, the acceleration of African unity, and the development of solidarity with other peoples. The restitution of our collective destiny must allow us to affirm our personality, and must liberate our creative initiatives. The diffusion of historical materials, and of the themes which flow from it, must enrich art, literature, and science. The economic, political, and cultural fall-out of all of these historical contributions is incalculable.
For these reasons, history and development are inseparable.
In this way, the archives in developing countries vill be encouraged to play the role of a genuine administrative documentation center, alloying both the collection of records and their management and diffusion at the national level.
So we must progress from a concept of archives, already outdated in developed countries, that has led to the perception of archives only as historically-oriented institutions of little value in development, to a more positive conception; for, henceforth, archives must play a dynamic national role through governmental documentation.
By the richness of records preserved in archives and the increased efficiency of the use of information retrieval, administrators will have an exceedingly useful tool at their disposal. But this possibility of having the archives play a more dynamic role in national development can only be effective if the administrators within the country consider the preservation of records important, as is emphasized in this passage from a speech given by the Secretary of State for the Interior of the Ivory Coast at a seminar on considerations about territorial administration (Yamoussokro, September 20 - October 20, 1974):
Another administrative activity no less important is the establishment and preservation of local archives. The struggle against underdevelopment, a mayor and legitimate concern of the government, encourages the administrator to devote all his efforts to concrete achievements, to seek tangible and visible results, to draw up tables and statistics measuring stresses and physical volumes, all preoccupations which, in many cases, lead this administrator to neglect and to forget other activities, seemingly less important, but equally necessary and important in national development. This is the case for archives.
Far from being an insignificant sector, archives can and must play a more dynamic role in development, provided that we think of them as a treasure of acquired knowledge and administrative experience, a wealth of information that is accessible for use as potential factors in administrative action in all areas of national development.
In this respect no record can better contribute to the understanding and appreciation of these possibilities than archives.
The administrator who turns to archives will grasp the problems he faces more quickly and more completely. He will save not only time but money, two things a developing country cannot allow itself to waste. Therefore, archives are far from being a luxury; they are a utilitarian means of support for a realistic development policy. For this reason, their management and maintenance in an appropriate location, by a person especially appointed for this task, must capture the attention and the interest of local officials.
This passage from the speech of the Secretary of State for the Interior of the Ivory Coast is a good illustration of the role that an archival agency can and must play in a developing country. Considered in this way, the archives becomes a means of support for national development, which is the source of its special usefulness in developing countries.
Kenneth J. Rothwell
Administration and Management in Developing Countries
The Nature of Administrative Change and Its Obstacles
Historical legacies and forces creating static economic conditions have produced in most developing countries inadequate institutions and personnel to deal with the administrative and managerial tasks in the new drives for accelerated change. Both political and administrative institutions have to be evolved which are capable of assuring and sustaining more egalitarian values and nationally accepted political norms. The functions and responsibilities entailed in these changes are of recent origin and the traditional values and institutions face irresistible pressures for modernization, which in the simplest terms implies restructuring or replacement.
The administrative organs of society reflect the political environment and derive their legitimacy, formal substance, and methods of operation from the constitutional, legal, institutional, and prevailing sources of power in society. Administrative change is hardly possible without political change of some kind although the pace of modernization may vary as between the administrative and the political.
There is no end to the weaknesses which have been attributed to economic management and public administration in developing countries. Criticisms generally related, until recently, to organizational structural aspects, to constitutional competence, to integrity and adequacy of personnel systems, and to administrative processes. More recently, however, problems of implementation and assessment of capability, of integrating planning, bud getary and operational processes, and management of public enterprises have also come to the fore.
A summary listing of administrative obstacles in developing countries is bound to include in varying proportions some of the following:
1. Organizational and structural obstacles-these range from problems in the creation of new organizations for performing emerging functions, to rationalization of existing structures for achieving better results;
2. Administrative systems suffer from confusion over functions and responsibilities of different units, duplication of work, lack of coordination, excessive centralization, and generally inadequate organizational arrangements for administration of various functions. Centralist tendencies in administrations are particularly great and hinder performance;
3. Shortcomings in personnel systems; career services based on merit have been the objective of many administrative improvement efforts;
4. Public service personnel lack knowledge and skills required for carrying out programs of economic and social development. Many continued to be governed by attitudes developed in colonial or feudal eras when development was hardly a major concern of public administration;
5. Corruption is widespread, along with favoritism, nepotism, and jobbery. Many public services are used as welfare agencies to provide employment for educated members of society, who otherwise might become a source of political trouble. These services are overstaffed with the wrong kind of functionary and hence administrative reform measures are frequently stalemated by political decisions;
6. Members of the public service suffer from lack of motivation and low morale. Administrative leadership and supervision are of poor quality, since the discipline is lacking. In many countries the concept of full-time government employment is unknown in practice. There are special problems associated with use of scientific and technical personnel in the public services;
7. Legalistic, dilatory, and complex processes and procedures are major shortcomings. Before the advent of development, the norm was a legalistic and control-minded management, whose procedures were based on limited functions of administration, and were inadequate for the new expansions. Current procedures still suffer from ambiguities, and encourage the status quo ante rather than attending to future arrangements which is the essence of management;
8. Budgetary processes and procedures such as procurement of supplies and logistics are without a sound technical foundation. As an example, the lengthy procedures involved in land acquisition for development projects can be cited as a major factor in the slow progress of such projects;
9. Interdepartmental rivalries and cumbersome committees complicate operating procedures and dilute responsibility for results.
Paramount to the administrative problem in the public sector is the realization that planning, budgeting, and operating processes must be integrated to insure the contribution of development planning to national growth. Development planning is a joint process in which every part of administration must participate effectively. There are needs for contributions from the political scientist and sociologist as well as the economist in formulating development plans. The notions that planning and implementation are separated aspects of administration and that the private sector is sharply separated from the public sector must give way to notions of participative management and administration.
Dimensions of Management in Development
The persistent gap in managerial expertise is widely claimed as a major cause for poor performance in socioeconomic development. But it must be recognized that management operates with human elements as well as with machines. Management is a significant element in business and industrial enterprise, project development, public utility concerns, and public administration of general services. Modern management techniques require special training skills, particularly under conditions of rapidly changing technology and through the reduction of isolation in administrative systems. The identification of the managerial function helps focus on the training program as well as aiding in the selection of managers and administrators for training participation.
Managerial content differs in quality and scope according to the organizational objectives. The range of its operation depends upon the framework within which the function is exercised, within which decisions are taken, and within the extent of the environmental impact. Training for management is complicated by the nature of modern organizations, especially industrial enterprises, which function in an economic, a regulatory, and a social sphere. The enterprises control workers' access to production, yet integrate the worker into a human organization upon which the productivity of the enterprise and contributions to the economy rest. The organizational and human factors in management require delicate balance; control over workers' livelihood results in a fair measure of social control so that the organization has considerable power in regulating the behavior of individuals as well as of groups.
An organization has been described as "a group of people operating in a discrete system of physical, functional, and human relationships, differentiated from the surroundings by the boundaries of explicit tasks to be performed.28 In contrast, Seiznik has described organizations as "technical instruments, designed as means to definite goals. They are judged on engineering premises; they are expendable."29 In the long run, nevertheless, national development depends greatly on the capacity to organize human activity, the essence of organization being the coordinated efforts of many persons toward common objectives.30 All organizations require management: government organizations aim at contributing to the management of the economy; business organizations require overall managerial guidance as well as derailed management of financial, commercial, and industrial operations.
Management is normally regarded as consisting of a hierarchy of individuals anti a set of critical functions relevant to the organization. It has also been viewed from three distinctive perspectives:31
1. management as an economic resource;
2. management as a system of authority;
3. management as a class or an elite.
A still broader view of management has been summarized by Chandraknant to consist of six approaches not necessarily exclusive:32
1. Management as a method of achieving objectives by organizing human resources. The management process school sees a management element in every function embracing planning, organization, coordination, and control.
2. The behavioral science approach to management, which focuses on the interpersonal relations within organizational connections.
3. The sociological approach to management, which seeks to identify cultural relations among social groups with the aim of systematic equation.
4. Management as a study of experience, which forms the basis for generalizing on organizational activities, and constructing principles which underlie effective management.
5. The decision theory of management which focuses on rationalizing the decision-making process to embrace the selection of a particular course of action from a number of alternatives.
6. The mathematical approach to management is based on the notion of the widespread quantification of managerial factors, which can be formed into a model that can be manipulated to demonstrate optimum solutions.
Likert in dealing with styles of management in business organizations makes a simple, fourfold classification:33
4. Participative -(group management).
He considers the participative style likely to be more efficent in the long run.
A highly important management function in development is planning which aims to rationalize the management of societies. Ponsioen has suggested four basic models of management comparable to those of Likert, but of more relevance to developing economies:34
1. The imposition model: the manager formulates an order, or a guideline which his administrators have to translate into orders. The expectation is that these orders are obeyed and carefully executed. In the course of its transmission, however, the order is sometimes changed in content by reinterpretation, partly through the interests of the receivers. The function of planning here is to advise the manager, to propose orders or guidelines for intermediate administrators, and to collect the feedback information to reformulate the orders.
2. The convincing model: the manager produces orders or guidelines accompanied with supporting arguments. The disadvantage is that arguments provoke counter arguments and execution is delayed as long as the debate continues. The function of planning then is to produce convincing arguments for the manager and replies to the counter arguments. A more practical way of convincing people to follow policy guidelines is through distributing rewards (financial ones, prestige and power) to those who follow them in an exemplary way. In this case incentives and rewards have to be planned also.
3. The participation model: managers formulate proposals, rather than orders. Public and private reactions are solicited and taken into account when the decision is made. An advantage of this model is that future subjects of the orders are informed in advance, their knowledge and wisdom is used, future resistances can be identified, and, if their suggestions are accepted, they are committed. It also provides a corrective to the value orientation of the planners. Planning in this model becomes largely an instrument to a societal decision-making process. The plan in the first instance is a proposal, in the second instance a piece for negotiations, in the third instance a compromise. The need to execute the plan becomes a major issue in formulating the plan itself.
4. The interaction model: the function of management is
a. to identify the creative individuals on all levels of the organization;
b. to make these individuals communicate among themselves;
c. to pour new ideas continuously into this communication process;
d. to have decisions taken within the frame of this communication.
Basic tacit assumptions are:
a. that the whole organization adheres firmly to its goals,
b. that on all levels individuals can be found, which are creative for these goals.
The function of the planning unit is that of a switchboard of communication within the organization; it channels all information relevant to the goals, received from outside or from inside a system, to the appropriate levels of the organization and through them into the decision-making process.
The process of modernization embraces all sections of society and has different implications and dimensions for each stratum. The introduction of scientific principles into management operations is a significant component of the process of change. Considerable problems are created by the introduction of new forms of managerial skills relevant to a particular developing country where a tradition-bound environment prevails. For the development of management much depends on the building of organizations and a body of human resources geared to dynamic modernization processes.35
As in the case of planning, perhaps the most significant advances in the application of management and administration have been in India. The government has strongly recognized the importance of sound administration and management as determinants of economic performance. When India achieved independence, the problem of national economic planning and development was given such attention. Numerous organizations, some concerned with industrial promotion and training, were established; included were the National Productivity Council, the All-lndia Management Association, the Institutes of Management, and the National Institute for Training in Industrial Engineering. The industrial policy statement of 1948 enunciated the respective roles of the public and private sectors.
The pattern of ownership in industry affects the nature of managerial and administrative growth. Because of strong foreign competition, Indian entrepreneurs were deterred from venturing into industry at the beginning of the century. The commercial class which had developed in India in the latter part of the nineteenth century were chiefly interested in banking, and money-lending activities; it was later strengthened by the commercialization of agriculture. The ability to make wise investment decisions became more ingrained and intuitive rather than being based on general administrative talent and managerial concern with planning, coordination and control. The influence of trade and business prevented a clear distinction being made between entrepreneurial functions of an enterprise and operational characteristics of management. Government intervention in industrial development was made necessary because of the absence of autonomous institutions fostering economic development. Historically, the development of education in India was geared to the supply of capable civil servants. Furthermore, Indian society is dominated by multiple loyalties, while the societal class distinctions in which the distaste for certain types of work were common in an educational system not wholly relevant to the needs of modern development, were not conducive to sound economic growth. Technological training, which systematizes and telescopes experience, is still a low priority in higher education. High prestige in the bureaucratic system acquired by long experience is frequently the basis for selection for a top managerial position in industry.
28. See L.S. Chandraknant, Management Education and Training in India (Bombay: National Institute for Training in Industrial Engineering, 1969)
29. Philip Seiznik, Leadership in Administration: A Sociological Interpretation (Evanston, Ill.: Row Peterson, 1957), p. 21, 22.
30. Herbert A. Simon, Administrative Behavior (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1945), p.17.
31. Frederick Harbison and Charles A. Myers, Management in the Industrial World (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1959).
32. Chandraknant, op. cit.
33. R. Likert, The Human Organization (New York: McGraw Hill Book Co., 1967). Ct. W.J. Reddin, Managerial Effectiveness (New York: McGraw Hill Book Co., 1970).
34. Jan A. Ponsioen, National Development: A Sociological Contribution (The Hague: Mounton & Co., 1968), pp. 163-179.
35. Included under human resources are organization builders, top administrators, middle and supervising management and trained technical and professional personnel. Harbison and Myers, op. cit., p. 117.
The term 'organization' can mean many different things. m us there is formal and informal organization, functional organization and military organization. Sometimes it means an undertaking, sometimes again it refers to organizations of interests. In what follows, the meaning of the concept of organization is restricted to its administrative sense. From this point of view, what is generally meant by organization is a system whereby work and the right of decisions are divided up among the employees and whereby they communicate with one another, as well as the work required to establish and maintain that system. In every organization, people work towards a common goal, using for this purpose the organization's three components: personnel, instructions and equipment.
Technically, the term 'organization' has two meanings. m e first sees an organization as a network of precisely defined relationships between certain individuals. This is the static definition of organization. m e second sees an organization as a process or an administrative function in which change and growth as well as the dynamics of the organization are central features. Both meanings are important in the study of administration.
It should perhaps be emphasized here that the need for organizational go-operation is not something that arises only in large undertakings but is equally important for small organizations, in fact as soon as an undertaking has more than one employee.
Types of organization
In the classical theory of organization, as represented by Henri Fayol and Frederick W. Taylor, there are three different types of organization: line organization, functional organization and line-staff organization. In practice, however, pure examples of these types are rarely encountered. In addition, the principles associated with these types have naturally been criticized by modern experts on the theory of organization. m e three types can, however, be defended from various points of view. They can be helpful in simplifying complicated organizational problems, thus bringing out certain fundamental connections.
Essentially, line organization is based in part on the principle of the horizontal division of labour, and in part on that of the vertical division of responsibility and authority. In line organization, each employee always has only one supervisor. In a given work unit, the work is directed by a single person. In this way, the responsibilities are clear and unambiguous.
In functional organization, an attempt is made to exploit the advantages of specialization more effectively than in line organization. Every employee, in this type of organization, can have a number of supervisors. It could almost be said that, in functional organization, the employees can have as many immediate superiors as there are specialists. This has been seen as a weakness, leading to uncertainty and confusion as to authority and the division of responsibility. It can be a source of conflict and clashes of interest. This type of organization has seldom been used in practice.
Finally, line-staff organization is a compromise between the two previous types. As in line organization, it is based on the principle that each employee should have only one supervisor while at the same time applying the principle of functional organization with regard to specialists. m e latter, who might almost be called consultants, nevertheless have no direct right to give orders but only advice and service. Line-staff organization is the most commonly used type of organization.
Line-staff organization can, if necessary, be divided horizontally in either a goal-oriented or method-oriented direction. m e first implies that tasks related to an independent, clearly defined goal are brought together. In turn, method-oriented division implies that tasks requiring the same approach, methods, etc., are brought together.
According to the original definition, 'organization' means that work and the power of decision are divided up among the employees, generally in terms of related functions, in accordance with the nature and content of the work. The groupings may include individuals, working groups or departments within the organization. Work may be dividied up in terms of area (horiziontally) or of levels (vertically).
Horizontal division of work
When a library reaches a certain size, some degree of specialization among the staff becomes inevitable. m e commonest type of specialization relates to work in the purchasing and cataloguing departments, which may be entrusted to certain staff special!:, qualified in those fields, who are also given an opportunity to further develop their special skills. Specialization, however, has not only advantages but also certain obvious disadvantages, and particularly psychological ones. When work is felt simply to be monotonous, this can easily lead to a poorer adaptation to work and therefore also to poorer results. Specialization or organizational subdivision in accordance with a particular system must therefore not be an end in itself.
Vertical division of work
As already pointed out, the various tasks in a library can also be divided up vertically, i.e. between employees at higher and lower levels. In principle, the chief librarian may be said to be responsible for the entire library. To be able to perform this task in practice, the work is divided up between groups, each of which has its own supervisor. The number of such groups will depend on the size of the library. It is important that the supervisors operate at the correct level and that the work is divided up in accordance with their guidelines. The work can also be divided up on a purely individual basis, depending either on the library's size or the nature of the task.
In the vertical division of work, the division between the various levels is governed by the power of decision. It must also be emphasized that there are different degrees of power of decision. The employee must be able to exercise the power of decision delegated to him which, in turn, presupposes a certain degree of independence. Training and education will, of course, increase the possibility of such subdivision of the power of decision.
Decision-making or decision is here taken to mean all taking of decisions in the library, from those on obviously important matters to routine decisions in daily administration. It is clear, therefore, why decisions have to be taken at different levels and in principle at the lowest possible level. The decision-making process is initiated, as a rule, when a particular problem arises. The final decision, which involves a choice between the proposed alternatives, constitutes an attitude in favour of one of them.
While line-staff organization, with its division into decision levels and areas of responsibility is increasingly taking the form of a pyramidal structure, the chief librarian being ultimately responsible for the activities as a whole, modern management has nevertheless been influenced to a very high degree by the concept of decentralization. This finds its strongest expression in the ever-increasing demand and need for decisions to be taken at lower levels. Delegation of the power of decision is therefore equally important in both large and small libraries.
Delegation of the power of decision
Delegation under these conditions means a transfer of both the power of decision and of responsibility wholly or partially to the employees. There may be many reasons for such a greater or lesser degree of delegation. It may be a flexible way of subdividing the power of decision so that decisions are taken at the correct level, i.e., as close as possible to those who will be directly affected by them. It may also be a conscious attempt to take advantage of the employees' useful skills in a particular area and thereby ensure that the correct decisions are taken. In both cases, delegation, correctly carried out, can increase job satisfaction.
Delegation can be limited in time or by the nature and scope of the task. It can also be withdrawn at any time by the supervisor, if he finds it necessary to do so. One of the many pre-conditions for successful delegation is that the boundaries must be clearly defined in so-called authorization.
It must also be emphasized that the supervisor can never escape from his responsibility for the final result of the delegation of decision-making.
While it is clear that delegation as an organizational principle has many advantages, many factors nevertheless impede this attempt to achieve such an ideal division of tasks, the power of decision, etc. The most serious obstacle to delegation is usually the library management, which may be inclined to delegate responsibility only sparingly as far as the most important tasks of the chief librarian are concerned, so that responsibility is delegated only in respect of the more routine ones. In addition, the chief librarian may take far too negative a view of the employees' competence, which will stand in the way of any delegation of responsibility. Finally, it is possible that the library management may well consider that a greater degree of delegation is desirable, but it is not put into effect because of the limited possibilities of providing the necessary supervision.
As far as so-called further delegation is concerned, the Swedish Local Government Act is increasingly placing certain formal obstacles in its way. In practice, however, further delegation can be arranged in such a way that the decision takes the form of an implementation decision.
The need to delegate both the power of decision and responsibility arises, as previously pointed out, even in comparatively small units. Delegation of the power of decision and of responsibility is therefore a functional assessment which, in the long term, can be of great importance to the successful future operation of library systems and at the same time a major factor in job satisfaction. Even if it is possible, in a library, to establish, once and for all, guidelines as to how tasks, the power of decision, and responsibility shall in principle be divided up, and how supervision shall be effected, daily contact at the workplace nevertheless provides the best conditions for ensuring that this is done in the most satisfactory way possible.
The most important conditions for successful delegation can therefore be summarized as follows:
Continuous guidance i.e., inter alia, frequent co-ordinating, creative and forward-looking conferences;
On-the-job training in the daily contacts with the employees;
Confidence in the employees' ability to manage increasingly difficult tasks;
Possibilities of checking the results of delegation, whether more or less successful or unsuccessful;
Truthful information on problems and conditions at the workplace;
Concrete goals communicated to all staff members, clear organization, budgeting and good planning are other measures that facilitate successful delegation.
G. Edward EVANS
Every organization must have someone who makes things go well, which is what management is all about. Human beings have kept things going for thousands of years, of course, but schools of management and business administration are recent phenomena. These schools have developed and prospered, though, only because persons educated in them seem to succeed at keeping things going better than those who have not been exposed to principles of management.
Some years ago, Yale economist Charles Lindbloom described "the science of 'muddling' through. You will probably always have to muddle through as a manager, regardless of your training, but the amount of muddling generally goes down as the amount of training goes up. Unfortunately, libraries and other NFP and governmental organizations have been rather slow to see the need for formal training in management.
Formal training for management in the profit sector places heavy emphasis on fiscal control. Because money and materials are more predictable variables than human beings, a person can effectively use formulas, models, and theories to successfully solve a problem (for example, increasing profits or changing a loss to a profit). Libraries deal in rather imprecisely defined services to what is most often a very heterogeneous population. Lacking precise goals and measures of achievement, then, they and a great many other service organizations have, in the past, seen little need for formal training in management.
Over the past 20 years, though, the notion that any librarian can be a manager has shifted to the recognition that a need exists for some formal background in management. Format training can provide some understanding of the basic elements of managerial activities, since, over the years, managers have accumulated a large body of literature about their activities, both successful and unsuccessful.
The remainder of this chapter explores what some writers have had to say about management, management theory, people and organizations, and what roles managers play.
WHAT DO MANAGERS DO?
Before answering the question of what mangers do, we need to distinguish between management and administration. A widely accepted distinction, and the one that this book employs, is that administrators establish fundamental patterns of operation and goals for an organization, white managers primarily carry out the directions of the administrators. In the profit sector, the board of directors is empowered to establish the overall direction of an organization (as administrators), while the officers of the company (from the president down) are the managers. Very often the top/senior officials of the company also are members of the board of directors; hence, outsiders. and lower-level employees often have difficulty making a distinction between management and administration
Practically all librarians, including library directors when they are in their librarian role, are managers rather than administrators. Since almost all libraries are part of a larger organizational unit (corporation, educational institution, or government unit), libraries must operate within a body of guidelines, goals, objectives, rules, regulations, policies, procedures, etc. that are formulated by others. Managers are not, however, without influence and a void in the establishment of these directions. Quite often a manager or a director sees the need for a change, formulates specific suggestions for that change, and passes these suggestions on to the person(s) empowered to make decisions. A properly functioning situation includes cooperation between manager(s) and an administrative body that is based on mutual respect.
Now, just what do managers do? Many answers to that question occur; however, the question can be seen from two points of view-function and behavior. Some examples of functions are planning, directing, budgeting, etc.; behavior is defined in the sense of roles filled, such as leader. Writers tend to take one side or the other. Most basic management textbooks seem to take a functional approach. Advanced level books seem to favor the behavioral approach. This book, white organized according to functions, explores behavioral aspects as well. In the next few pages I explore a few of the approaches that have been employed by some important writers in the field of management.
To gain an idea of what managers do, try this experiment. Approach a person you know to be a manager, director, or unit head, or someone who is responsible for overseeing the work of someone else (the scope of the individual's duties is not important in this context). Simply ask the person to tell you what he or she does. Do not be surprised if the response is something like "Well, I'm head of the reference department," or "I'm assistant director for technical services," or "I'm the director of the library." You must then probe further by saying "Fine, but tell me what you actually do during a typical work day." You will seldom get the answer "Oh, I direct, plan, control, delegate, budget, and hire and fire people." More often, the answer will be "I attend lots of boring meetings, write letters, reports, and memos, and listen to complaints. It seems like I never get anything done."
Presumably a manager who says something like "I never get my real work done" is referring to some of the classical concepts of the functions of a manager. One set of labels for these functions was set forth in a classic paper by Gulick and Urwick (1937). In it, they coined the acronym POSDCORB, which stands for the following functions:
These seven functions (for which labels may vary) are assumed to underlie, in one form or another, all management activities. They do not describe the work of a manager; they merely identify the objectives of a manager's work. At least one writer claims that, because the labels fail to describe what is actually done, they are of little use. This seems to be too harsh a judgment, for if we do not know where we are going (that is, if we do not have objectives), how shall we know when we get there? By studying the concepts covered by labels such as POSDCORB, a student can gain an understanding of what good management attempts to accomplish.
Various writers use slightly differing labels,, but all of them draw directly or indirectly from a set of concepts described by the French industrialist, Henri Fayol. After many years of profitably managing several unreIated industrial organizations, Fayol set down principles that he had found valuable in his work. All of his principles reflect the thinking of a practical person, not of someone concerned with developing a grand philosophy or a great theory. Fayol's concepts may seem to reflect common sense, but no management text in the United States identified them until the late 1940s (although he published his observations in 1916). Today his views fit extremely well into most contemporary thinking.
Fayol divided the activities of organizations into six fundamental groups: (1) technical, or production, aspects; (2) commercial aspects (buying, selling, and exchanging goods); (3) financial aspects (the search for, securing of, and efficient use of money); (4) security (protecting the safety of employees and property alike); (5) accounting (including statistics and record keeping); and (6) managerial activities (planning, organization, and control). At the time Fayol wrote his book, the sixth group had not been adequately defined; he devoted most of his attention to the question of defining managerial activities.
Fayol reasoned that a worker's most important attribute is the technical ability to carry out a prescribed function properly. As a worker rises in the hierarchy of an organization, the importance of managerial ability increases, until, at the top level, it becomes the basic requirement. Fayol thought that managerial skill could be acquired and that the best way to acquire it was through a combination of education and practical experience. In many ways, this view reflects my philosophy. Education in the fundamentals of management must be seasoned with experience in situations entailing real responsibilities and duties. When a solid background is lacking, learning on the job can be tedious and frustrating, because the manager-in-training needs a great deal of time to become a productive staff member. As libraries have come to recognize this problem, some larger systems have attempted to provide special management training. An example of on-the-job training is the trainee fellowships offered by the Council on Library Resources for a year-long work-study management program. The program is needed, because, until very recently, library schools did not offer courses in general management, and practitioners found themselves at times lacking basic information about management.
Fayol's entire list of activities is useful in the library situation. Production is obviously an aspect in the processes of cataloging books and making them ready for use. Buying, selling, and exchanging library materials certainly represent commercial activities. There is a clear financial aspect, in that administrators, and frequently the entire staff, are concerned with locating sources of funds to support library programs. Security is an important library concern whether it involves protection of material against theft and physical deterioration or the consideration of the safety of personnel and patrons. Anyone who has had experience with an acquisitions department recognizes the significance of the accounting function. And, finally, although a profit-loss statement does not exist for the library, good managerial skills are just as critical to the library as they are to a profit-making organization.
FAYOL'S GENERAL PRINCIPLES
Fayol identified 14 principles of management.
Division of Work or Specialization It is best to assign workers to jobs fairly limited in scope, so that they can develop a high degree of skill. This promotes efficiency for the organization. Moreover, the superior has control, because only a small range of activities must be dealt with for any one person. Since division of work is necessary for efficiency; the only real question is how to handle the division. In a library, this can be by type of service or by type of material. Regardless of the method, it is important to consider a unit's direction and objectives. (See Chapter 6 for further details.)
Authority and Responsibility Authority and responsibility must go together. This may seem obvious, but very often, only responsibility is delegated, not authority. The frequency with which this principle is violated is surprising, yet the reason for this is quite evident. The person delegating authority always retains some responsibility for the accomplishment of a task; many managers are reluctant to delegate authority to subordinates, because they doubt that their subordinates can do the job. (This will be explored in more depth in Chapter 5.)
Discipline Clearly defined limits of acceptable behavior are absolutely necessary, so that everyone in an organization knows what can and cannot be done. When a rule is violated, it should be enforced equally and fairly by someone who is competent, understanding, and able to apply discipline. Often this principle is difficult for a supervisor to apply impartially, because a tendency exists, especially within the human-relations managerial style, to modify discipline in terms of non-work-related factors-a practice that may or may not benefit an organization as a whole. (See Chapter 12 for details.)
Unity of Command An employee should receive orders from only one supervisor. Yet, because of a number of interacting variables in any job situation, line and staff as authority become opposed to line and staff as function (see Chapter 6). For example, to whom should subject specialists report? Possibly to the head of technical services, because they are concerned with both the selection and the processing of acquired materials. However, subject specialists also answer specialized reference questions. Thus, their assignment to public services might seem logical. Yet most libraries with personnel of this type divide their duties between technical services and public services which clearly violates the principle of unity of command. Therefore, the specialist must satisfy the expectations and requirements of both departments. Frustration under such circumstances is easily understandable. Almost all readers have, at one time, found themselves working under two bosses simultaneously. I have experienced this situation as a nonprofessional in public and academic libraries and as a professional in academic and special libraries.
Unity of Direction There should be only one plan, and the person should be responsible for supervising it; all activities have the same objective should be supervised by one person. For example, bibliographic checking units should have one supervisor and one plan of operation, yet libraries frequently violate this principle by having a bibliographic checking unit in both the acquisitions and catalog departments. A plan to combine the units and satisfy both acquisitions and cataloging needs should be formulated. (See Chapters 7 and 8.)
Subordination of Individual to General Interest Fayol believed that the individual should subordinate self-interest to the general good. This is difficult, though. in a work situation in which employees perceive no managerial concern for individual well-being. It is incumbent upon management to reduce conflict between the individual and the general wellbeing wherever possible. (See Chapters 10 and 11.)
Remuneration Remuneration for work must be fair and accurate, affording maximum satisfaction for both employee and employer. Some libraries pay the minimum amount necessary, to hire an individual, but these systems obviously have no standards for hiring or promotion. The library manager must examine tasks, identify responsibilities, and decide upon a just level of compensation. The next step is to find someone to carry out the defined duties for the established salaries. (See Chapter 13.)
Centralization Fayol thought centralization of authority to be desirable, at least for overall control. Certainly, both formulation of policy and the generation of basic rules and procedures ought to be centralized. Managerial decisions may be made at a lower level, but only within the framework established by the central administrative authority. Many libraries adhere rather strongly to this principle, embracing the idea of centralization of authority, physical facilities, and services. (See Chapter 6.)
Lines of Command or Scalar Chain Organizations need a formalized hierarchy that reflects the flow of authority and responsibility. Fayol suggested that a chain of command is necessary most of the time, but, at times, it is best ignored. When the organization obviously will be harmed significantly by adherence to a hierarchical arrangement, the rule must be violated. (See Chapter 5.)
Order Relationships between various units must be established in a logical, rational manner, so that these units work in harmony
Equity Managers/supervisors elicit loyalty from employees only when they deal with them as individual persons. Employees must be seen as persons, not things to be manipulated. If managers hope to create a good working environment, they must treat everyone fairly and with equity (See Chapters 9, 10, and 11.)
Stability of Tenure A high turnover rate is expensive for an organization. Turnover of a high degree is both a cause and an effect of bad management, and one way of evaluating a manager/supervisor is to examine the turnover and absenteeism rate of persons working under that manager. A low turnover and absenteeism rate may or may not indicate a good manager, but a high rate indicates the existence of a problem that the manager/supervisor has failed to correct. Naturally, every time an employee leaves, the organization incurs significant costs in time and money spent recruiting, selecting, and training a new employee. Furthermore, the new employee will require time to become an integrated member of the staff. A person who is often absent can create bottlenecks in the flow of material, hindering the entire organization's efficiency (and often costing the organization far more than his or her salary). (See Chapters 12 and 13.)
Another form of absenteeism not usually reflected in statistics is that of employees who are "present but absent." These people arrive at the last possible moment, take longer than necessary to set up for work, begin coffee breaks early and drag them out, extend lunches beyond the normal schedule, and push cleanup further and further into the working period. The equivalent of one workday per week may be lost by such persons; if this happens, the supervisor (and the supervisor's supervisor) must examine the situation.
Initiative Initiative should be encouraged at all levels. and subordinates should be asked to submit plans and new ideas. All of these should be carefully reviewed, and each person who makes a suggestion should be informed as to its status. Although this principle is given lip service by many libraries, in actuality, it is often not practiced. For example, when personnel evaluation forms enquire about an employee's initiative, often the only true interest is in conformity (that is, lack of initiative). This was not Fayol's intention, and it should not be the intention of a good manager. (See Chapter 4.)
Esprit de Corps As a good Frenchman, Fayol believed in esprit de corps. He felt that all successful organizations survive only when a feeling of unity pervades the group and that viable organizations cleat with crises as a team. (See Chapters 9, 10, and 11.)
I emphasize Fayol's work because his ideas have served at the basis of most management writers since he published his book-as they do for this book.
Frequently, you will encounter articles discussing the question of whether management is an art or a science. Generally, these articles conclude that, despite many elements of science present, management is, in the final analysis, an art. Although you can learn basic concepts, principles, functions, and techniques as described by Fayol and others, each management situation is unique. Even when certain situations appear to be similar, the individuals involved will be different, whether in fact or just with the passage of time. Thus, what worked yesterday may or may not work today. Your ability to assess degrees of change is the real art of management.
As a manager, you will have to fill a number of roles in varying situations. The statement "I have to wear a number of hats" is truer than most people realize. In discussing what managers do, Henry Mintzberg identified 10 basic roles:
(8) disturbance handler,
(9) resource allocator, and
Although several of these roles have elements of the political process in them, the librarian in a publicly supported library needs to add a role to Mintzberg's list-politician. With all these roles to fill, it is not surprising to find most managers agreeing that management is an art form, not a scientific exercise. For this reason, throughout this book the behavioral aspect is tied to the functional activities.
THE NATURE OF FORMAL ORGANIZATIONS
A few words about the nature of formal organizations will help set the context in which behavioral and functional activities occur. Formal organizations are social units formed in order to accomplish certain objectives. Individuals join the organization because its objectives represent to some degree objectives that they wish to achieve personally or professionally (or both). As an organization grows and changes, its original objectives will be modified, and they may well change to such an extent that the founders might have trouble recognizing "their" old organization. Formal organizations, then, have two basic characteristics:
(1) they are formed to accomplish a specific objective, and
(2) that objective may well change many times during the lifetime of the organization.
As an organization becomes more complex, one objective may come into conflict with another. Society itself is composed of thousands of organizations, many of which have objectives in conflict with the objectives or other organizations. Furthermore, the personal goals of the members of organizations rarely are in total harmony with organizational objectives, especially as each person belongs to hundreds of organizations (formal and informal, voluntary and involuntary membership). As is readily apparent, another major characteristic of organizations is the widespread existence of conflict.
A number of management articles in the 1960s and early 1970s dealt with conflict control, which some people view as the central issue for management. Granted, conflict is a fact of life, but it is as naive to pretend that conflict is the only element of life as it is to assume that there is no conflict at all. What we must recognize is that a series of interactions constantly takes place:
Individuals interact with the environment
Individuals interact with one another
Individuals interact with organizations
Organizations interact with other organizations
Organizations interact with the environment
Because people and organizations are interdependent, and because every action does produce a reaction, management is clearly a complex problem.
Conflict has a great many sources; the ability to recognize the major sources can help a manager to perform more effectively. Perhaps the major source of conflict is competition for resources, as all organizational resources are limited in quantity. During any given period, some resources are more available than others, but the pattern of availability and demand fluctuates. In the 1950s, libraries were concerned about material resources, physical facilities, and funds to support intellectual freedom. In the 1960s, the big resource problem was personnel, and in the 1970s, it was financial support. The 1980s cannot be predicted.
Competition for scarce resources takes place both inside and outside an organization, and competition between similar organizations can be very strong. Because most libraries are governmental agencies, they find themselves in a yearly struggle to secure a larger portion of the tax dollar (or to hold onto their present allotment). Because each agency's request justifies the full amount of tax money that it could use, and because each request will have active supporters, the library has competition for every dollar that it seeks. The total monies requested by all agencies usually exceed the amount available; therefore, conflict (and often ill will) can arise as each agency tries to prove that it is worthy of its requests.
Competition for resources takes place within the organization as well, among the units that compose it. Perhaps the library secured only one of six new positions that it requested, and all department heads are trying to justify their receiving the new staff member. Just as with interagency conflict, the manager (decision maker) must realize that any decision may result in tension and conflict that may, last for some time. Obviously, competition for resources forces the issue. The manager must try to avoid the long-term effects of such conflicts.
Another form of conflict, line-versus-staff, is built into the organization and is sometimes deliberately encouraged. In a library, this type of conflict often arises between systems personnel and other staffers. Trying to improve the library as a whole, systems people tend to have a broader perspective than the operations staff. When a systems person recommends a change in one department. and when both the systems person and the department personnel know that it would mean less efficiency in the department (even if it would mean more efficiency for the library), vigorous objections from the department are only natural. The department staff members do not want the library to be less efficient, but they also do not want their own work to be less efficiently performed. The manager's task is to make certain that the department realizes that it will not be penalized when a decrease in efficiency does occur. The conflict that arises is encouraged here, though, because department members have forgotten the question of overall organizational performance. Yet, that overall performance and operation must remain the top priority of everyone working in the system.
Sometimes, several staff members make conflicting demands on a unit head. Because each unit has its own purpose and responsibilities, the unit head often assigns a level of importance to each request. Yet this should never be allowed to happen. lop management must assign all priorities, allowing the entire organization to benefit from staff and line specialization.
Other types of conflict arise from differences in work orientation and needs. In a library, one of the clearest examples of this can be seen in bibliographic searching. Acquisitions departments can secure books without the detailed bibliographic searching that catalog departments often need. Frequently, discussions arise concerning when, where, and how such searching should be done. If acquisitions does a complete search, it takes more time than necessary to meet that department's needs. If cataloging does the search, the cataloging work Dow will be improved, but the actual acquisitions process may be slowed down. In either case, one department is doing the work of the other, which almost inevitably leads to tension and conflict.
Whatever its source, conflict must be controlled if organizations are to operate efficiently. Persons holding management positions must have a tolerance for conflict situations. A manager must recognize the sources and nature of each conflict, must not be afraid to tackle problems and must be comfortable in dealing with problems. Methods of dealing with conflict situations range from using personal judgment to attempting bargaining to the all too popular muddling through.
PEOPLE IN ORGANIZATIONS
Accomplishing goals with and through other people is a basic human activity, and most persons are involved in working with others in some fashion. If we define an organization as two or more persons acting together to achieve a specified goal, then we can say that everyone is a member of a number of organizations. Members of organizations must interact in a structured, interdependent manner to achieve their desired objective. While the degree of structure and interdependence vary constantly, whenever two people seek a common goal, some structure and interdependence must be present in their organization.
Anthropology, archaeology, and history supply ample evidence that organization is necessary. Indeed, the findings of these disciplines reinforce the contention that both formal and informal membership in organizations marks all stages of an individual's life. As Etzioni (1964) and others have noted, an individual is not really dead until the state officially certifies the fact. A brief discussion of just a few of the many types of organizations one belongs to will illustrate the complexity and the pervasive nature of organizations.
Economic groups include not only a person's place of employment, but banks, savings and loan associations, and credit unions, among others. Owning a credit card implies membership in an economic group. In these instances, each group represents a structure created to fulfill some specific economic objective(s) that each member desires to accomplish (service or product). The organization itself desires a profit for providing the desired service or product.
Religious groups affect the individual even when a person does not belong to a formal group. Religious holidays and their observance influence the behavior of both organizations and individuals; as a result, even the non-religious person comes under the influence of formal religious bodies.
Governmental agencies of all types (including military) constantly affect the individual. Membership in such organizations is not always voluntary; one becomes a member simply by living or working in a specific area. Other organizational groups are educational, social, and political.
In several of his books, Peter Drucker has described four principles of production-unique product, rigid mass, flexible mass, and "flow" production. Although the principles were originally established through the study of industrial production, they apply equally well to producing and handling information and to what can be labeled "knowledge work." Libraries and most service organizations fall into the "unique product" category. If librarians keep the definition of this category in mind, they will be able to relate their activities to most other activities in a manner that managers and politicians outside the field of librarianship will understand.
Drucker characterized unique product work as labor intensive:
Even when highly mechanized-and it does not lend itself to automation-capital investment will be comparatively low compared to labor cost. But it has great flexibility. Costs of individual products are high, but break-even points are low. Unique product production can operate at a low volume of output or with considerable fluctuation in output. It makes high demands on skill,, but little or no judgment.
With the exception of the last phrase in the last sentence, this is an accurate picture of library work. Libraries devote well over 50% of their budgets to salaries and staff benefits. Capital investments, compared to labor costs, are low, and (when they are actually calculated) unit costs for services to individuals are high. Generally, the degree of skill and judgment required are high, contrary to Drucker in this case.
As a labor-intensive activity, even without considering the clients, the management of libraries places emphasis: on people and interpersonal relations. Because of the increasing complexity and growing numbers of organizations, though, we must be concerned with the question of whether organizations control individuals. This brings us back to the two basic aspects of management: activities and people. As long as the manager remains fully aware of the ramifications inherent in organizations and people, and as long as the manager tries to maintain a balance between the needs of the two, people are in control of organizations. When the balance tips in favor of activities, people are no longer in control. An organizational threat to individual freedom and dignity cannot exist in a balanced situation.
Saul Gellerman summed up the situation with the following:
Thus we return to the dilemma that organizations have always faced, and always will, as long as they are comprised of individuals. The organization exists, thrives. and survives by harnessing the talents of individuals. Its problem is to do so without hobbling those talents or turning them against itself This perpetual balancing act is the responsibility of management, especially those members of management in the lower echelons, whose influence upon employees is most direct.
I agree with Robert Townsend's statement about people and organizations in the preface to his book, Up the Organizations: "Solution two is non-violent guerilla warfare: start dismantling our organizations where we're serving them, leaving only the parts where they're serving us." Very few people deny that every formal organization has anti-people elements. Nevertheless, when someone threatens the entire organizational structure, many others rush to the defense of the status quo. If, however, energy is directed toward correcting the anti-people elements and developing a balance between people and things, then almost everyone in an organization will help with the process. Libraries and librarians are people-oriented, and a little more awareness of management techniques is all that is needed for libraries to become effective people-oriented organizations.
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2. H. Mintzberg, The Nature of Managerial Work (New York: Harper, 1973). p. 11.
3. P. Drucker, Management (New York: Harper, 1974), pp. 203-216.
4. Drucker, p. 213.
5. S. Gellerman, Management of Human Resources (Hinsdale, III.: Dryden Press, 1976). p.13.
6. R. Townsend, Up the Organization (New York: Knopf, 1970), p. 11.
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Biblioteka Akademii Medycznej
(Library of the Academy of Medicine)
This article is a continuation of the subject matter initially dealt with in "Wybrane problemy organizacji pracy w bibliotece" ("Selected problems of the organisation of library work"), Poradnik Bibliotekarza (Librarian's Guide), Nos. 10/81, 11-12/81, 1/82.
The presentation of several theoretical aspects of management science, based on examples taken from work in libraries, is intended to give interested individuals a better understanding of these important issues. They certainly deserve to be taken up, because many people still believe that management and administration are easy and do not require special training, that to be a good superior it suffices to be well versed in the domain of activities of the institution to be directed, and finally that it is quite enough to be a good professional in the particular field, so that the better the professional, the better prepared he is to occupy a managerial post.
In a large organisational unit, the post of director requires mostly managerial qualifications. On the other hand, the lower one goes down the official hierarchy, that is, the smaller the organisational unit to be directed, the greater the importance of technical qualifications in the sense of professional expertise, and the lesser the degree to which managerial qualifications are needed. Those who occupy non-supervisory working positions do not have to display any managerial abilities, except in so far as such abilities are useful for the organisation of their own work. This view has been illustrated by Fayol by means of the following diagram:
(e.g. chief librarian)
(e.g. department director)
(e.g. head of section or branch)
Hence the often derided view that management is a profession does not deserve blanket condemnation in all instances. To be a professional manager is very difficult and requires extensive training. It does not work well when managerial posts are filled by people who do not have the right preparation, who are not experts in the given field (even this happens, and not infrequently!), or who do not even have the necessary education, but who "have to" occupy such a post, for some reasons that often are not even made public.
The ability to manage people is a difficult art and responsible work, requiring thorough preparation. For this purpose, many post-secondary institutions have established departments with the task of conducting research and dispensing education in the science of administration and organisation. We also have active institutes and departments devoted to the subject of work organisation and administration, but can we truly assert that we are training managers appropriately, can we pride ourselves on having the right managerial cadres trained to work and manage in various settings and in various professions? In particular, do we train managers and directors for libraries?
One last introductory remark. No worker, even one with no-one to supervise, but with a carefully specified set of tasks and responsibilities, can possibly become a good worker if he is unable to organise his work, and his own personal actions within the establishment, if these actions are not well planned, goal-oriented and economically implemented.
Management and administration
Management is the art of influencing subordinates to act as desired by the managing superior.
From this definition we see that there can be no question of management if a specific individual, the manager, is not assigned at least one worker or a team of workers as subordinates. One cannot be a manager if one does not manage people, that is, if one has no subordinates.
The encyclopaedia definition states (Encyklopedia organizacji i zarzadzania (Encyclopaedia of organisation and administration), Warsaw, 1981, pg. 207): "Manager - superior or individual directing a given team of people, which constitutes a formal organisational unit..."
J. Kurnal (Zarys teorii organizacji i zarzadzania (Outline of the theory of organisation and administration), Warsaw, 1969, pg. 259) asserts: "In the event that the object being guided is a single person or team of people, the guiding individual should be called a manager, whereas when the object being guided is neither a single person nor a team of people, the guiding individual should be viewed as a driver".
Thus the statement that someone "guides" or "steers" (in colloquial Polish) something, does not at all mean that the person in question is a manager. A bus is steered by its driver, while a book-lending outlet with a one-person staff is run by the librarian.
I have often been confronted with the view that one can manage a substance or material resources, such as a book-lending institution. This view is even held by some librarians.
It bears stressing yet again that one cannot be a manager if one is not a superior, that one cannot be a manager if one administers only material resources (resources are objects used to achieve goals: people, materials, tools, machines, energy, etc.).
Thus we see that administration pertains not only to people, but also to material objects, premises, furnishings and materials contained in such premises, including library collections. The encyclopaedic definition of this term runs as follows: "Administration - action based an exercising control over resources" (T. Pszczolowski: Mala encyklopedia prakseologii i teorii organizacji (Short encyclopaedia of the practice and theory of organisation), Wroclaw, 1978, pg. 288).
It must also be stressed that management is possible only within the framework of official relations between a superior and his subordinates. A craftsman delegated by an university's maintenance department to repair, for example, library shelves, is not a subordinate of the school's library director; he is only carrying out specific instructions. This craftsman can become a subordinate of the library director if his post is transferred to the library, and the individual placed under the authority of the director.
There is yet another concept, that of tour guide, that requires precise explanation. A mountain expedition may be led by a guide; the participants are not bound to him by any employment contract or official relationship, but rather by a specific agreement for services to be rendered by the tourism organisation employing the guide. It is characteristic of this sort of situation that the participants subordinate themselves to the guide voluntarily, through an agreement which they can themselves terminate under certain conditions.
Various styles of management are distinguished:
The paternalistic style, consisting in treating subordinates like family members, is essentially a thing of the past (although it can still be encountered in Japan); it obliges the superior to organise not only the place of work, but also the subordinates' outside lives, by making sure that they have places to live, food to eat, etc.
The autocratic style is one whereby the worker has his working method dictated from above, he is not allowed to question or discuss the instructions he receives, their implementation is carefully verified, and all the subordinate's actions are supervised. The autocratic director imposes his point of view on subordinates, requiring that his orders be followed unquestioningly.
The democratic style or integrationist style consists in the manager giving his subordinates a sense of common interest, trying to influence them so as to make them feel co-responsible for the results of the unit's operations.
A manager with a consultative style is one who acts more as an adviser than in any other role with respect to his subordinates.
A manager with a liberal style is one who gives his subordinates a free hand, not interfering in their work unless there is some particular justification for doing so.
It is difficult to indicate which course is best. The superior's actions essentially depend on the circumstances; he sometimes has to be an autocrat, although in the long run it is no doubt better to adopt a democratic style, a democratic-consultative style, or in certain situations, with respect to specific groups of workers, a liberal style. It is important to take into consideration who the subordinates are. In a library they are usually colleagues with similar professional training, who understand well their own tasks and the institution's goals. Therefore libraries should be managed primarily in a liberal fashion, in conjunction with aspects of the democratic (our common professional goal is the promotion of culture) and consultative styles.
A library director is responsible for the overall operation of his institution. The principle of one-person management consists in concentrating in the hands of a single individual full responsibility fo fulfillment of the organisations tasks, and for the smooth functioning of all its organisational units. It assumes that there exists one superior for each team of workers carrying out common tasks.
The principle of one-person management is closely connected with measures to promote team decision-making; the institution's director works with a specific team to resolve the difficult issues, complicated situations and important problems. He should take into consideration the opinions of experts, professional colleagues and representatives of users or clients. The team should not be encumbered with simple matters, requiring immediate reaction; such matters must be left to the one-person administration of the director. Team decision-making is justified only for matters that are important, complicated and have long-term consequences.
A library director must take into account the opinions and decisions of such teams, and he must be able to co-operate well with them. Under no circumstances is he permitted to make light of team members or their views as specialists.
Trivial matters must not be passed on to the library board, commission or council, or any other statutory consultative body acting within the library. Each library is a state institution, providing services to users as specified in the Libraries Act. Hence the director and librarians must pay attention to the opinions of the library's consultative bodies, modifying their decisions and actions on the basis of these opinions, and ensuring that users are represented on such bodies.
The superiors authority
A superior's power is entirely dependent on the post he occupies. The extent of this power is defined in regulations or in a post description.
A library director's range of powers is usually defined in the library's statuses or by provisions of its operational regulations. In this respect, everything is clearly written down. But it is considerably more difficult to gain authority over one's subordinates. Authority does not spring from rules, decrees, statutes and regulations; authority is a human property that depends on the individual. A manager with authority is one whose instructions are carried out willingly.
Subordinates respect his professional knowledge, experience and personal qualities such as trustworthiness, fairness in the evaluation of workers, concern for the collective's interests, etc.
In a large library, the range of powers of each department director is identical, but one may win high authority among his workers, while another will never achieve such authority. In this case the decisions of the first manager are implemented willingly and without question, while those of the second are doubted, his instructions are discussed and changed, the team of workers he leads finds it very difficult to co-operate and runs into various problems.
A superiors authority can spring from three separate sources:
1. Formal authority is acquired by the superior through the very act of appointment, for instance to the post of library director.
2. Knowledge-based authority is a function of the given individual's education or practical achievements; for example, the director of a bibliography department may impress his colleagues with an ability to process material rapidly and correctly, he may be the author or co-author of several published volumes of a respected bibliography, etc.
3. Personal authority is acquired through the superior's behaviour and personal traits. This form of authority is both the most important and the most difficult to achieve.
PRINCIPLES OF MANAGING THE WORK OF SUBORDINATES
Biblioteka Akademii Medycznej
(Library of the Academy of Medicine)
Centralisation and decentralisation
These terms, usually associated with organisation on a large scale, also apply to the management of human beings. From the work organisation point of view, centralisation means setting up units based on communality of tasks. This facilitates specialisation, and ensures economy of operations as well as the development of centres of specialisation within the organisation, but at the same time it results in the formation of an unwieldy pyramidal power structure. Managerial decisions are taken mostly at the top of the pyramid, and then distorted as they percolate through lower levels of the hierarchy. Rigid decision-making, not based on consultation, make sit difficult or even impossible to adapt flexibly to special local conditions. Managers of subordinate organisational units are accountable only for precisely carrying out tasks assigned to them. This dampens their initiative and has a negative influence on the work flow.
Decentralisation provides more independence, allowing for adaptation of the organisational unit's internal structure to its character, to local conditions and operational needs. In a decentralised system, the superior determines only broad indications and guidelines, leaving it up to managers of hierarchically lower units to fill in the details of instructions.
It is difficult to imagine the Ministry of Culture and Arts deciding in detail how to allocate financial resources for library purchases to all public libraries, on an equitable basis of some mechanical indicator, such as the population of the service area, and going even further, deciding what the acquisitions should be, which would be typical of a centralised administration. In a decentralised mode of administration, individual community libraries are granted the right to fashion their own acquisition policies, building a library collection that meets user needs (and of late, unfortunately, that does not exceed budgetary limitations).
As part of the same topic, it is important to understand the principle of democratic centralism. It is based on the need to adapt each institution's activities to general planning principles, while leaving individual organisational units with as much independence as possible for the selection of their operational ways and means.
The principle of single-source direction states that each subordinate receives instructions from only one superior, and is accountable for following them only to that superior. It is a violation of this principle when a library director gives instructions to a worker over the head of that worker's direct superior, such as a department or section manager. This can lead to the worker receiving two different sets of directions on the same matter, with the immediate superior not knowing what his subordinate is doing, or what tasks were assigned to him.
Every superior must be aware of the fact that his subordinates have varying qualifications and different character traits. A library director must treat individual department managers differently, and they too must not deal with all their subordinates the same way. The principle of differentiation applies both to evaluation of work completed, and to the manner of giving directions.
The manager who wants to know and decide about everything spends too much time on details, and has too little left over for the most fundamental and important matters. Thus he has to be able to choose the problems that he ought to solve himself. Most of his interventions should be related to his supervisory function, and it is not desirable that intervention appear on his regular agenda, as an activity planned in advance. Intervention should always be used to incite workers to improve, in specific situations, such as following justified complaints by users, entries in the library's book of recommendations and complaints, information from librarians, etc.
Taking economic factors into account
This is very important for directors of autonomous organisational units, and hence for public library directors. Rational economic activity consists in taking economic factors (in a very broad sense - not just financial savings) into consideration when choosing optimal solutions. Economical activity involves, for instance, deciding to purchase expensive equipment only when it is needed and will be fully utilised. It would be uneconomical to decide to buy a machine for copying index cards for a small library that uses only two copies of the catalogue.
Economy of operations can be achieved in direct ways, through economical analysis of present and planned circumstances, and also in indirect ways, for example by appropriately influencing subordinates, by taking advantage of their individual abilities, by paying careful attention to working conditions and staff qualifications.
Striving for progress
Every institution needs progress in its activities. Regular incitement to progress is one of the responsibilities of every manager. Active efforts to achieve progress require adopting the following assumptions:
a) everything that is being done can be done better;
b) everything used in the workplace can be made more efficient;
c) everything considered worthwhile must be imposed.
One of the superior's duties is to create conditions in which new ideas will be generated, in which workers will suggest innovations. Attempts to progress and improve are often manifested by re-organisation efforts. But one must not forget that every re-organisation has some negative influence on the institution's operations ("constant re-organisation is disorganisation" - Tadeusz Kotarbinski). Only after workers become familiar with a new operational system does productivity rise back up to the previous level, and some time is needed for this level to be surpassed.
It can even happen, and not infrequently, that progress runs into worker resistance. Sometimes a great amount of energy must be devoted to overcoming such resistance, either by persuasion, or by introducing innovations gradually, following a period of experimentation and training.
The achievement of organisational and economic progress must always be one of the fundamental goals of every manager. Decisions taken in this regard must be carefully thought out, discussed with workers and implemented consistently.
Listening to subordinates' advice
To be well prepared for his supervisory functions, a library director should be a qualified professional librarian. This does not mean that he has to be the worker who best knows all the aspects and operational details of his profession and his institution, or even that he has to be an outstanding library scientist. Department managers have to know certain details better than the director, and therefore it is sensible in specific situations to hear their opinions and to take advantage of their advice. Managers on hierarchically lower levels should also listen to and take into account the opinions of their subordinates. In matters concerning workers, one should also listen to the views of representatives of political organisations, trade unions and professional associations. It is also necessary to maintain good relations with the advisory bodies associated with the library, such as library boards, commissions or councils, consisting in part or in whole of professional librarians. The wise director values independence of worker opinions, and makes appropriate use of views expressed by the "institution's opposition". Criticism stimulates his reflection, and very often shows him the way to the best solution of a difficult problem.
The correct way to approach subordinates
A superior must not undermine the authority of middle managers in the eyes of their subordinates. Any critical remarks or assessments should be made on a one-none basis, or in the course of a managerial meeting. When pointing out errors, one must never wound the personal dignity of the worker under fire. One may offend a subordinate by explaining things that are obvious to him, by expressing doubts about his ability to deal with a specific matter, by treating him as an inexperienced beginner, etc. Even a new worker, who is in fact inexperienced, should be treated correctly, with all due respect.
One expression of respect for those who work with a library director is careful preparation for meetings of the library management team, and attentively listening to its members' remarks. A director must also be able to write appropriate critical reports about the work of individual organisational units of the library, and about that of the managers of these units.
Three levels of management can be distinguished:
1. overall management, which in a library is the responsibility of its director;
2. intermediate management, carried out by individuals who help the director to administer a large institution, for example deputy directors; other examples of intermediate managers are managers of large departments in a library, of large institutional libraries (such as directors of departmental libraries in post-secondary institutions employing a substantial number of people), of large public library branches. etc.
3. direct supervision of productive work, carried by managers of small organisational units, small departments, small institutional libraries, and library branches with a small staff, by individuals who combine their personal work, involving direct service to users and the institution, with managerial and supervisory functions.
The distinctions among these three levels are not clear-cut; in some libraries they become quite blurred, especially with respect to intermediate management and individuals entrusted with direct supervision of specific workers.
The activity of workers occupying managerial positions consists of the following functions:
1. setting operational goals,
2. analysis of the current situation,
Setting operational goals
The range of activities of any institution is determined by some legal document. This may be a statute (e.g. 'Statute of 9 April 1968 on libraries'), an administrative directive or decree of a body of the national government (e.g. 'Directive of the Minister of Higher Education, dated 18 March 1961, in the matter of organisational structure and action guidelines for university libraries...'), a library charter (e.g. a municipal public library charter, certified by the head of the municipality, in accordance with 'Directive No. 103 of the Minister of Culture and Arts, dated 30 November 1973, in the matter of a model charter for municipal public libraries'), or organisational regulations (as issued, for instance, to a university library by the rector).
The library's operational mandate determines its permanent goals (e.g. providing access to learning aids such as textbooks and course notes for students). A particular permanent goal gives rise to specific, interim goals; for instance, the task of organising a library network within an institution of higher education gives rise to the specific goal of organising a small library in a particular institute or for a particular department.
It is the task of the overall superior to move in the direction of fulfilling his institution's basic goals. It is his responsibility to assign partial, intermediate tasks whose total realisation constitutes a basic goal. These tasks are entrusted to workers of particular organisational units, that is, managers on hierarchically lower levels; they, in turn, carry out these tasks personally, or assign them to their own subordinates.
Analysis of the current situation
In order correctly to determine intermediate tasks leading to achievement of the institution's basic goals, the person in charge must first analyse the institution's current and future situation. This situation consists of the means and resources available to the institution, and of the conditions under which the institution must function.
In analysing the means and resources available to a library, its director must determine above all:
- the number of workers, the professional levels of the librarians, and hence their potential output, the institution's organisational structure, and any other personnel considerations affecting library operations;
- the quantity and quality of the library collections, which determine the possibility of satisfying user needs;
- the technical conditions affecting library operations (premises, equipment, furnishings, etc.);
- environmental (local) conditions affecting library operations;
- expected user needs.
In drawing conclusions from this analysis, the director must determine how best to take advantage of the team of librarians, as well as other workers, employed by the institution, and of the library's known collections, while operating under specific conditions and for well-defined users, so as to fulfill the library's tasks as completely as possible.
Determination by the director of the library's way of achieving its goals makes it possible to formulate details of the institution's plan of action, aimed at systematically carrying out the library's tasks. Specific details of the plan of action constitute the basis for drawing up tasks to be entrusted to particular organisational units of the library, as well as the functions of individual librarians and other operational workers.
The document allocating tasks to the various organizational nits, as drawn up by the library director, is binding upon each team of workers for a substantial period of time, until something is reorganized, for example in connection with the institution taking on new tasks, or on the basis of new and more complete experience acquired by the library management, director, council, commission or advisory committee.
The job description, as signed by each worker, is a document containing directives that bind him for a long period, in principle for several years, and often throughout the time he spends working at a specific post in a specific department. The newly hired librarian, assigned for example to the Processing Department, will undergo some introductory training, and will then work on alphabetical processing of the library's acquisitions this will be his basic task. However, each worker, in addition to his permanent regular functions, will receive, from his superior, occasional tasks or short-term instructions, depending on the library's current tasks and functions - for the next day, for a few days or for a week. This is usually allowed for in the job description ("Carrying out such other tasks as may be assigned to him from time to time by the department manager").
As we see from the above, the superior's function consists in planning tasks that his subordinates are to work at, and in determining the regular and occasional goals they are to achieve. In planning tasks and assigning specific functions to subordinates, the superior should apply the principle of the right man for the right job. Therefore he must have a good idea of what work his subordinates are trained for, in which fields they are specialists, and the type of work they like to do.
Acquiring such knowledge is part of the managerial function of analysis of the current situation. When deciding about assignments of workers to public library branches in a large city, it is well also to take into consideration personal relationships among co-workers, the distance from the worker's residence to his place of work, and even a seemingly unjustified desire to change one's place of work.
The library director should never underestimate the importance of informal ties among workers, taking advantage of them to improve the working atmosphere, to raise productivity, to enhance efficiency, and he should also show understanding for any particularly close friendships, drawing appropriate conclusions from such observations. A superior should alawys try to make sure that his subordinates are as satisfied as possible with their work, and he should take into account as much as possible their suggestions and recommendations, whenever there are no strong grounds for rejection.
Work organisation consists of two groups of functions:
The first involves preparing subordinates for their work, so that they can, are able to and want to carry out their assigned tasks. Each worker must be given the tools he needs, and his working conditions must conform to prevailing safety and hygiene regulations. Each work station must be carefully designed and adequately equipped, so as to make it possible for the worker efficiently to carry out his assigned tasks. It is advisable first to test his professional capabilities; it may be necessary to give him additional training, but one must not exaggerate in this respect, for fear of demotivating, boring or even offending the worker.
Each employee must be convinced that his work is meaningful and needed, that without his contribution the institution's goals would not be fully achieved; he must be psychologically prepared and motivated for his assigned functions. At the same time, the worker should be aware of the fact that if he does not make an effort, if he does not work well, if he is negligent or commits some offence, then there will be consequences, for the superior will be obliged to mete out a condign sanction
The superior is responsible for generating a good atmosphere in the institution. He must remember that a good worker cannot be efficient under disorganised conditions, that nobody thrives in disorder and chaos. Workers should be given clear and definite instructions' and they must be treated seriously. The superior has the responsibility of showing understanding for the worker's problems and personal difficulties, and he must also express recognition for the worker's efforts. Neither is he allowed to become too close with his staff; this is necessary for the maintenance of discipline in the institution.
The second group of organisational functions of a superior involves providing material resources and working conditions. In a library, these functions include arranging premises, with appropriate furniture and equipment, and especially acquiring whatever library materials are needed, as the basic raw material for the institution's operations. Providing good working conditions includes paying attention to the hygiene, cleanliness and aesthetics of premises.
These two groups of functions are equally important for good work organisation. The superior must also be able to organise irregular operations, he must be prepared to set up an appropriate procedure for unexpected situations, emergencies, when atypical tasks have to be carried out, etc.
Managerial functions include both organising one's own work and managing the work of subordinates.
In organising the activities of subordinates, the superior directs the institution's entire work flow, he decides to start work, he may decide to introduce changes in obsolete procedures, working methods or organisation of tasks, he directs work in progress and decides to terminate it.
The decision that an institution is to start working is not just a formality; it must be preceded by verification that the staff and materials are ready. Once commenced, work should continue smoothly, without interruption or disturbance, and under conditions conducive to careful execution. Every librarian knows that, for instance, the daily opening of a lending library must be preceded by a number of preparatory actions, that cannot be executed once the users are inside and waiting to be served; once the lending library is open, customers should be served continuously and efficiently.
In the course of the institution's everyday activities, the superior follows the progress of work, by listening to regular reports submitted by managers hierarchically below him. He should not intervene if everything is taking place in accordance with the plan and his expectations; it is his task to supervise the flow of operations, always ready to intervene, but only if the need arises.
Intervention by a library director in the work of the Processing Department, for example, should be limited to cases when he observes an excessive concentration or backlog of work, or when he obtains information suggesting that the department is not functioning smoothly. Unjustified intervention or "interference" in the work of a department is pointless and can be harmful, because it undermines the department manager's authority, and gets in the way of good, systematic completion of tasks. The role of the director is to co-ordinate work among departments, and to promote harmonious operation of the institution as a whole. The director must always be "visible" in the library, the workers must sense his presence, knowing that he pays attention to their work, that he cares about it, and that he is ready to intervene.
A good superior should not look as if he is overworked. His actions should be well organised, and he should be able to intervene, to explain or to give advice at any time.
It can happen that the work of an institution departs from the established plan because of some disturbance. In such cases the superior must take appropriate action to eliminate the disturbance, by deciding to change or re-organise something. For instance, a library director may decide that a worker dealing with acquisition processing should do duty temporarily in a reading room, in order to take up slack caused by another worker being absent for health reasons.
When deciding to stop the day's work, the superior is responsible, among other things, for making sure that the premises and collections are adequately protected. It is also very important that the library's work be organised in such a way as not to cause, as a result of library closing, unnecessary problems for readers. For instance, any library materials they are currently using in the reading room must not be sent back to storage, lent out or even temporarily made accessible to another reader; conditions must be such that each reader can continue his work on the next day with no problems or loss of time.
Library closing must also be accompanied by a number of regular activities (switching off the 1-ights, keeping the keys safe, etc.). It is the director's responsibility to hand down corresponding decisions and instructions, and then to make sure that workers carry out their assigned tasks in accordance with these instructions.
Every superior must supervise continuously, both on a regular and on a spot-check basis. Regular supervision by a library director includes checking the list of those present every day; this will show him to what extent the various work stations are staffed, and whether it is necessary, for example, to reinforce one part of the organisation, to avoid difficulties in the form of "bottle-necks", etc. A library director also analyses regularly the employment records, reports from library branches and other such documents, as informational input for his decisions.
Spot-checks usually involve personally verifying the institution's state of operations. The library director carries out his supervisory functions during visits to individual work stations.
One of the most important forms of regular supervision in a library is stock-taking, or comparing the actual collection with listings in inventory registers or other documents. In small libraries full stock-taking is carried out at times set out in the regulations; in large ones, partial stock-taking constitutes a significant aspect of "collection control".
The results of stock-taking are very valuable for the director, giving him a good sense of the state of the library's collections, and allowing him to draw conclusions and form opinions about the work of individual departments, satellite libraries or branches.
The supervisory functions of a library director are different from those of managers of departments, sections, branches or satellite libraries. A high priority in the director's plan of work is allocated to regular supervision, through analysis of documents, reports, complaints and suggestions he receives. Any spot-checks by the director should be the result of conclusions he draws from such analysis.
Managers of organisational units are obliged to control and supervise work in progress, while at the same time personally carrying out the responsibilities flowing from their range of activities, and from the work plan of their department or section. The supervision they do is connected with the responsibility of reacting to signs of negligent work, but also of making an appropriate assessment, when they observe that one of their subordinates is particularly diligent and effective in his work. Naturally, they should also react to remarks by readers and users of the institution.
When carrying out supervisory functions, it must not be forgotten that some workers are offended by having their work checked. The most appropriate reaction to this sort of attitude is for the superior to state that the reason for the supervision is not lack of trust, but rather the great importance of the subordinate's work, a desire to become more familiar with his range of activities, recognition for his professional abilities, and the superior's own thirst for knowledge. There are also workers who like to be observed, and to hear the positive results of their work talked about; praise and recognition stimulate them to work even better.
Supervision is the superior's most important function. It is meaningful only if the results are carefully analysed, and if conclusions drawn lead to improving the institution's work.
WHY LIBRARIES NEED MANAGEMENT
Libraries need management because they are organizations. Like other organizations libraries have certain goals to fulfil in society and they have people to enable them to accomplish those goals. To neglect the knowledge of management would be tantamount to rejecting the management theories and practices being applied in other organizations which are striving to meet the changing needs of society and to improve their performance.
Libraries are not dead or inanimate things. They are organic; the' evolve and they exist for a purpose. Because service to society is the purpose of libraries, because libraries employ people who have to be managed to provide that service, not in any manner but with design and commitment, the knowledge of management becomes a must. As libraries grow continually in size and complexity, human relations, staff consultation and participation will be a sure means of securing a more contented and co-operative staff (Jones 1971). Lack of motivation which is one of the most serious problems of management in industry is evident in libraries (Simon 1976). A look at the work of a library manager reveals that he handles responsibilities similar to those of other managers hence the need for the knowledge of management.
THE LIBRARY MANAGER'S WORK
The use of the terminology 'manager' in library administration implies that a chief librarian of a public library system, a national library system or a university library system should see his role as comparable to that of a company chief executive. Just as a company chief executive has people and other resources to manage and goals and objectives to be realized, so has a library manager. Libraries employ people who use other resources available to fulfil certain purposes. A library manager, therefore, consciously or unconsciously always wrestles with the problem of how best the resources of his library should be utilized to accomplish its mission.
The work of a manager is to set aims and objectives, organize, communicate, motivate and to develop people (Drucker 1968). These are not the only functions but it is true that a manager's main responsibilities have something to do with the organization and human aspects of management.
Setting Aims and Objectives
Any organization which is well managed will have defined aims or goals towards which all its activities and the energies of its personnel are directed. A library manager has therefore an obligation to spell out the aims of his library in relation to the aspirations or the role of the parent body in society. For a public library system, its aims must be derived from the long-term state goals particularly in education, information and culture. Its aims could be formulated as follows:
(i) to support formal education, that is, providing for the needs of those pursuing primary and secondary education
(ii) to contribute to non-formal education, that is, providing for literacy programmes, vocational training and professional education
(iii) to encourage reading for knowledge and information
(iv) to cultivate reading habits and to sustain literacy in society, etc.
The aims of a university library, a college library, a school library or a special library, should be defined on the basis of what the library must do to further the work of the organization to which it is a part. The prime goals of a university library, for instance, are to contribute to the teaching role of a university, to support learning and research activities, and to stimulate creativity and intellectual development among staff and students.
It is however not enough to define the aims of a library. The aims should be known by all the staff so that they may relate their work and devote their time to the fulfilment of those aims. Secondly, the manager must involve senior staff in setting the objectives or targets of their own departments in the light of stated aims of the entire library. The objectives of a department such as the lending department arise directly from the aims. Objectives are the basis of the day to day operations of a department and a measure of its performance.
At this juncture it is important to distinguish between "aims" and "objectives". We would define "aims" or "goals" as statements about the purpose or the mission of an organization or statements which spell out the business an organization is engaged in. "Objectives" spring from "aims" and they are the targets and tasks of an organization or its part; they are, to an extent a measure of an organization's effectiveness in the fulfilment of its aims.
For example, some of the objectives of the acquisition department of a library whose aim is to support formal education would be to acquire W books for primary level and X books for secondary level; to acquire Y books for adult literacy and Z books for vocational education. The task of the cataloguing department would be to catalogue a certain number of books within a short time and to produce catalogues useful to readers. The objectives of the lending department would be to provide reading material to the user groups of the library; to maintain efficient catalogues and stocks; to prepare statistics of usage regularly; to educate readers on the use of the library, etc.
Allowing participation of staff in setting objectives of their departments is accepting the principle of management by integration and self-control (McGregor 1960) where staff are given a chance to decide what to accomplish, by what method and within what time, in pursuit of the organizational goals. The benefits are that such staff will be more committed to the mission of the library because they will seek to achieve the objectives they have themselves set. They will also be more willing to commit and to guide their juniors to the realization of overall aims. The reverse would happen if the aims and objectives were conceived and set at the top and imposed on the departments. It is, of course, not possible to involve them in everything. The important thing is to allow a fair latitude of departmental participation. Quite often the morale of good staff is eroded where setting aims and determining policies are the preserve of the top management. If staff have little say in their work and if they have no room for initiative, they will go to work only to fill in the day.
This involves analysing activities, classifying tasks and dividing those tasks into manageable jobs which can be allocated to people. The exercise leads to the establishment of an organization structure which facilitates division of responsibilities into departments and coordination of their activities. Organizing means fitting, people into the right places, that is ensuring that they are in jobs which they can do well and which satisfy them. It also means cultivating and sustaining the initiative and the co-operation of all the people in the organization.
When establishing a structure necessary for co-ordinating and integrating the responsibilities of various departments, it should be understood that such a structure must facilitate good communication, delegation of authority and definition of group and individual autonomy over certain responsibilities.
We can see one danger however, in organizing. It results in division of labour which may cause intergroup competition where each department or section tries to excel over the other thus defeating the unity of purpose of an organization. Although the work of a manager as a coordinator may deter the conflict, the suggestions mentioned below are worth bearing in mind.
(i) The performance of departments should he measured and rewarded on the basis of their contribution to the total effort rather than their individual effectiveness.
(ii) Interaction and frequent communication should be promoted between groups.
(iii) There should be frequent rotation of staff among departments to stimulate mutual understanding.
(iv) Any win-lose situation should be avoided and emphasis always placed on pooling resources to mazimize organizational effectiveness (Schein 1959).
The essence of communication is to foster understanding anti harmony among the people in an organization (Katz and Khan 1966). It is necessary to establish and maintain proper communication to facilitate effective exchange and transmission of information. Ideally formal communication should take place at three levels - down the hierarchy, up the hierarchy and horizontally between people on equal status.
Information flowing down the hierarchy will come from the manager to his subordinates and their juniors and it could be about new policies, directives, or routine matters. Upward communication emanates from subordinates. They could talk to their superiors about themselves, their work or seek clarification and guidance about certain directives or policies. Horizontal communication among peers is mutual exchange and sharing of information about their experiences and common problems at work. It is obvious that a fault in communication in any side can easily cause misunderstanding, friction and discontent among people and will no doubt, ruin co-operation. An example of such a situation is given below.
The chief librarian of a certain library system once disregarded the right channel of communication. He sent a letter of transfer to a library assistant in a branch, without informing the branch librarian. When the library assistant received the letter he showed it to the branch librarian who expressed great surprise because he was completely unaware of the transfer. Because the transfer was with immediate effect, the library assistant told the branch librarian that he was going to move to another branch the following day. The branch librarian replied that he could not release him until he had clarified the matter with the chief librarian. It was a serious matter because the person being transferred was an assistant to the branch librarian anti the only trained library assistant in that branch. The assistant said he could not wait. He disobeyed the branch librarian and left the branch immediately. When the branch librarian spoke to the chief librarian, there was a battle of words and total disagreement. It took months for the branch librarian to reconcile with the chief librarian and the library assistant.
Certainly the chit-f librarian was the cause of the problem which was really avoidable. His instructions were communicated in the wrong way. He should have first informed the branch librarian that he was considering transferring his assistant to another branch for certain reasons. He- should then have sent the assistant's letter of transfer through the branch librarian thus making vertical communication complete and effective
Motivating anti developing people for effectiveness
The theory of motivation and the strategies of staff development have been discussed in Studies in management with reference to libraries (Wambugu 1982). Motivation and staff development are important and obligatory functions of a manager. Whether a manager adopts McGregor's theory X that the average human kiting dislikes and avoids work and has to be coerced anti directed,, or theory V that the average human being does not inherently dislike work and exercises self-direction and self-control, a manager is duty-bound to motivate and develop staff for organizational effectiveness. An organization without motivated people and without the right capabilities cannot be effective and cannot hope to fulfil its goals in society.
What is effectiveness? We know that effectiveness has been associated with statements like - 'the organization produces high quality goods, 'it makes very good profit' or if it is a service organization people would say - 'the employees are pleasant, the service is very efficient', etc.
Effectiveness is the extent to which a manager achieves the output requirements of his position. Managerial effectiveness should be defined in terms of output rather shall input, that is, by what a manager achieves rather than by what he does (Reddin 1973). It is quite possible for a manager to work efficiently and still remain ineffective. An effective organization is the one which fulfils its purposes in society adequately and continues to meet the changing needs of that society as best as possible.
The way a library manager deals with the vital resource of human beings will, in a large measure, determine the effectiveness or the ineffectiveness of his library. Favourable attitudes and motivation to work are related to effectiveness. High producing managers do the following:
(i) They exercise control through group participation and decisions are made by groups.
(ii) They strive to satisfy the major motives of people.
(iii) They strive to create favourable attitudes.
(iv) Their subordinates are highly motivated and their activities well coordinated by proper linking of overlapping work; groups.
(v) They maintain a group pattern of working as opposed to man-to-man pattern.
(vi) They encourage communication in all sides.
(vii) They serve the interests of the employees as well as those of the organization (Likert 1971).
Because an organization could be fulfilling multiple goals hence the dilemma in judging effectiveness and because an organization may exist within an unpredictable environment, its effectiveness should be measured by its capacity to survive, adapt, maintain itself and grow (Shein 1959) An organization's capacity to grow lies mainly in its employees' ability to sense changes, and to scope with those changes by improving its services or products.
Are libraries and other public organizations coping? Is the human side of these organizations being managed to meet the existing and the changing needs of their communities effectively ?
Drucker, Peter F., The practive of management. London: Plan, 1968, P 410
Jones, K. H. Management theory and the public library (in) Library Association Record 73 (1) January 1971
Katz, D. and Kahn, R. L. The Social Psychology of Organizations. N Y Wiley, 1906, P. 223.
Likert, R. The Principles of supporting Relationships (in) Pugh, D S ed Organization theory Harmondsworth Penguin, 1971
MacGregor, D. The human side of enterprise N. Y. MacGraw-Hill, 1960.
Reddin, William J. Managerial effectiveness N Y McGraw-HilI, 1970, P 3
Shcein, Edgar H. Organizational Psychology 2nd ed New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1970, P. 118
Simon, B. V. The need for administrative know-how in libraries (in) Shimmon, R ed. A reader in library management London: Bingley, 1976, P. 29.
Wambugu, Charles K. Studies m management with reference to libraries Nairobi Karfa, 1982
Report by Dr A.P. Kurantov
Once specialized State Archive Services have been established there is a need for archives administration, and the number of countries lacking such services is gradually being reduced to a minimum.
A rational system of archives administration may be introduced most easily in countries with a single State collection: this is the case in Bulgaria, Hungary, the German Democratic Republic, Poland, Romania, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and many other countries.
In the USSR, the decree of 1 June 1918 submitted by the Soviet of People's Commissars 'On the reorganization and centralization of archives' was signed by V. I. Lenin, founder of the Soviet State, and was an act of revolutionary importance which marked the beginning of the socialist system of archives organization. The decree stipulated that all the archive material in the country was to be considered public property. This measure led to the establishment of a new scientific category, the 'State Archive Collection'. The General Archive Directorate, which was responsible for managing the collection, was set up at the same time. A series of laws subsequently confirmed the application of the 1918 decree, particularly the 'Status of the USSR State Archive Collection' of 1958, which reinforced the principles of centralized management and storage and consolidated the links between the State Archives and the institutions responsible for the production of documents.
By virtue of their statutes and functions the State Archives are not only repositories of documents but also scientific research establishments and institutions forming an integral part of the State's administrative services. They are responsible for managing the archives of ministries, institutions, firms and other bodies (generally known as 'current records'). Intercommunication in the functioning of these two types of archives which pursue different aims is the result of the natural continuity between the three stages of document processing: office work, current records and the State Archives.
The ultimate aim of archive services is to carry out retrospective searches as required by the public services, the national economy, culture, science, private individuals and society in general.
To be able to do this archives institutions and current records must perform five major functions: collection, organization based on scientific principles, conservation, classification and the organized use of the documentary information provided by retrospective searches. The performance of these functions taken as a whole and in their various forms makes up the task of managing the State Archive Collection.
Archives consequently conduct three fundamental types of activity, corresponding to the general classification of aspects and types used in scientific work: organization, research and information.
These three aspects of archives administration are closely linked to one another, each of them being based on the other two. They none the less differ and have varying aims, and will consequently bear individual examination as aspects of archives administration.
2. The scientific organization of archives administration
The scientific organization of archival management involves a wide range of issues which include personnel management, planning the development of archives and the archival sciences, regulations, co-ordination and accounting. The study of these problems is closely linked to archival economics, an expanding archival discipline which deals with the organization of work, efficiency, determining the grades at which archive staff are to be recruited, etc. Economic analysis is applied to all the different aspects of archival work designed to make rational use of material and human resources and ensure constant improvements in organizational methods, in order to chance the quality of such work and make it more effective.
The need to tackle the organization and division of archival work in the USSR in a scientific manner led to the compilation of a table in which all the categories of work carried out in State archives are clearly set out. This table facilitates operational studies of the work and serves as a basis for establishing model procedures.
The scientific organization of personnel calls for uniform working conditions and a series of documents setting out the functional distribution tasks, the structures of archival institutions, and the area of activity covered by each post.
The scientific bases of archives administration entail the introduction of new recruitment norms in the State Archives. Soviet archivists are researching this problem, using mathematical statistics (the multiple correlation method). These standards make it possible to determine not only recruitment levels but also the number of archivists required to carry out a given task, and to improve the monitoring methods to be applied to archival work.
Planning and accounting constitute a second group of problems connected with the administration of archives. Archives in the USSR have developed an integrated planning system based on the principles used in national economic planning.
At the basis of this planning system are the five-year development plans for the State archives, reflecting the decisions of the executive bodies, the objectives of economic planning and the need to develop and improve archives.
During the five-year period that has just begun (1976-1980), following lines laid down by the XXVth Congress of the CPSU, special attention is being paid to enhancing the scientific dimension of archives work, as well as its quality and effectiveness, to storage conditions and to the rational use of material, financial and human resources. The five-year plan for archives development is made up of several sections defining the practical tasks allocated to different projects.
The scientific research work carried out by VNIIDAD is based on annual and five-year plans. There are other plans covering co-ordination of the approach to major problems (in which the other institutions participate), the work of the Academic Council and its sections and the application of research findings. All these plans are linked and constitute a single organizatory and planning system governing the development of scientific research.
Forecasts of scientific growth are an important factor in planning and management. An outline of the forecasts concerning the basic problems in documents management archival science and archeography up until 1990 is made available to Societ archivists.
The co-ordination of scientific research has become extremely important in recent years. This is due to the complexity of the most advanced scientific work, which requires the attention of several institutions covering different areas. The Commission for the Co-ordination of Scientific and Systematic Research of the USSR General Archive Directorate has a large part to play in this process. The Commission revises the plans co-ordinating VNIIDAD's research work and that of other archival institutions, establishing the requisite contacts with the different institutions and the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. It monitors the progress of research into complex problems and assesses its findings. Co-ordination is the responsibility of VNIIDAD, which is the leading institution and prepares the methodological and organizational documents for the co-ordinating bodies (specifications, research schedules, work schedules), organizes conferences with their representatives, examines their work, etc. These are complex tasks with a high labour coefficient, and they are taking up more and more of the time of those concerned.
The plans for the implementation of completed research work provide for the establishment of methodological norms to be applied for experimental purposes, as well as the dissemination of the findings; talks given by specialists, conferences, seminars, the preparation of exhibitions and of articles, etc.
The accounting system is complemented by the planning structure. The book-keeping for each piece of scientific research work is done separately, according to a system whose structure, order and lay-out are the subject of a special State norm.
In recent times, a trend towards the constitution of scientific research groups and committees to encourage the effective use of labour in archival institutions has been observed in State archives (Poland, Croatia, Romania, Czechoslovakia). Scientific organizations of this kind mainly study the problems connected with the internal organization of archives, the development and correct grouping of the collections, and the standardization of documents dealing with archives administration.
3. The scientific bases of archives administration
Each of the branches of archival science and records management is linked in one way or another to archives administration. This link is determined above all by the nature of the scientific research, whose considerable diversity may be reduced to three essential categories: theoretical or basic research, applied research, methodological research. In the USSR, this classification is strengthened by the 'Basic guidelines for the organization of scientific research in archival institutions' (Moscow 1975).
The aim of theoretical research is to develop scientific theories and promote the acquisition of systematic knowledge concerning specific scientific problems. They contribute to the detailed development of research work.
The purpose of applied research is to use theoretical knowledge in order to solve specific practical problems.
Methodological research is the result of archivists' scientific activities, which are reflected in general and consultative methodological handbooks and in mandatory standard-setting texts.
(a) The importance of scientific archival research into archives administration
Among the effects of scientific archival research on archives administration mention should be made in the first place of the effect of such research on the most important function of archives: collection and selection. This function is supported by special theoretical research and methods of assessing the usefulness of documents.
These problems attract the attention of archivists the world over. Many countries are organizing research and devising a methodology for a low-cost system of selecting and preserving genuinely useful documents, which can be applied to a constantly expanding flow of documents. It was precisely this aspect of studies that directly influenced archives administration in several countries.
The methods used to evaluate documents are based on theoretical concepts of the informative role of documents. Generally, the role and importance of an institution in a hierarchical government system is a crucial factor when determining the content and historical value of the documents it has produced. In the USSR, documents are assessed on the basis of this principle, after drawing up a list of institutions to be taken into account. The process of selecting the institutions is carried out by means of 'sample lists', prepared for this purpose. These lists classify the institutions in groups. They are standard-setting documents which directly influence the workings of the process whereby historic documents are incorporated in archives.
The need to select the documents that are stored in archives with care because of the increasing quantities of public records has obliged archivists in several countries to formulate basic evaluation criteria. There is a noticeably tendency to make these more detailed and to have recourse to other disciplines linked to archives science. Research of this kind is connected to applied research in archives science and thanks to specific methodological texts, it has an influence on archives administration.
The need to reduce the number of documents to the minimum while maximizing their information content has led archivists in several countries to study the phenomena of the absorption and reproduction of information in contemporary documentary systems. Research is being carried out in this field in Great Britain, the USSR, the U.S.A., France, Sweden and other countries.
In the USSR documents are evaluated by the Committee of Experts of the State Archives and by institutions, organizations and business concerns. The archive services of the federated and autonomous republics and their archives departments also have committees of experts which evaluate documents. These committees are the various links in the administrative chain that controls the selection of documents. The supreme authority, the Central Committee for Expert Inspection (TsEPK) of the General Dictorate of State Archives of the USSR, is an organizational and methodological centre which directs the methodological side of document assessment at the level of the State Archive Services: it draws up model lists of documents and approves the draft lists of documents intended for the different departments.
Research and management functions are both represented on this committee, as is demonstrated by the participation of VNIIDAD representatives in the relevant studies. Not only do the findings of scientific research work influence organization and practical content, but they are themselves influenced by the administrative bodies which, by handing over their records to the State Archives, at the same time determine the direction and the intensity of this research. The TsEPK is thus an administrative mechanism governing the interaction between theory and practice in the expansion of archives. Mention should also be made of the effect of contemporary research into the reference system on archives administration. These studies are intended to facilitate the retrieval of data in retrospective searches.
The usefulness of the differential method of describing documents on the basis of their information category should be stressed. From the standpoint of archives administration, this type of classification facilitates the planning of descriptive work, reduces the time and labour required to carry it out and provides a more detailed description of the collections which contain the most information. The application of the differential method means that the acquisition of documents by archives is directly determined by their quality as sources of information (diversity of documentary data, historical importance, state of preservation, frequency of use).
In the majority of countries the need for serious scientific research into the use of archives has also been recognized. Efforts have been made to define the problem of the use of documents (Canada), to undertake a systematic examination of users' information requirements by analysing their requests (Archives of the Federal Republic of Germany), to establish links between the ways in which the documents are used and the selection of the corresponding personnel (Great Britain), to include archival information in the network of scientific/historical information and documentation (German Democratic Republic), to create a stock of data which will subsequently be translated into machine language (Poland), to develop objective criteria for assessing the effectiveness of research from the standpoint of the tasks of 'social management', the development of the national economy, science, etc. (USSR).
(b) The importance of research into records management for archives administration
From the standpoint of archives administration, the main significance of research into the creation of records is that its findings contribute to one of its most important functions of archives, i.e. the acquisition of highly informative documents.
Scientific and technical progress, together with the increase in documents on the subject and the emergence of new types of media (audiovisual, computerized and others) call for a new, universally valid approach to the problems raised by the creation of records. In most countries, archivists have joined forces with management specialists (the German Democratic Republic, Denmark, Canada, France, Great Britain, Poland, USSR, U.S.A., Sweden and others).
In the USSR studies of the procedures and principles of the handling of records in administrative systems have made it possible to create the nucleus of a new scientific discipline, the science of records management, which is an application of the science of 'social management', and is connected with archival science and contemporary studies on information.
It should be noted that a broader definition of records management has been adopted. It now covers all handling of documents in administrative systems. This is the theoretical basis on which Soviet archivists, together with legal and other specialists have built up a unified records conservation system (EGSD).
This system is a code of rules, recommendations and norms for the conservation of records at every administrative level. It has been designed as a uniform method that will have an influence on management procedures as it guides, regulates and standardizes the handling of records from their creation until the time comes to store them in archives.
The establishment of this system led Soviet archivists to give closer attention to the standardization of administrative documents. As a result, two norms concerning administrative documents have been issued: 'System of documents on organization and administration. Basic principles' and 'System of documents on organization and administrations. Model'. These certain specifications regarding the drafting and typing of documents and the optimum layout for each component of the document. A number of documents are thus based on a single model matrix and their quality as sources of management information is improved.
The idea underlying the unified system and the norms for administrative documents is the idea that at the very conception of a document, even before its creation, its value as a source of information for the future must be taken into account. The application of these norms constitutes a link between records management and the State Archive Collection. The latter thus benefits from improvements in records management.
The establishment of the unified system and of norms for administrative documents gave an impetus to the development of the administrative sciences and made it possible to consider a unified system for documents on organization and administration which could be used both in automated administrative systems and in traditional ones. A unified system of this kind (USORD) is currently being developed by VNIIDAD in conjunction with several other archival institutions in the USSR; it will give rise to a complex network of documents designed to carry out one of the basic administrative functions, i.e. the organization of administrative systems and processes.
Similar research is under way in other countries. For instance, the Central Archive Directorate and the State Archives in Bulgaria are also setting up a unified system for the conservation of the State Archives (EGSD).
(c) The importance of research in the natural sciences for archives administration
An important feature of contemporary archives administration is the wide-ranging application of discoveries in the natural sciences and of advanced techniques. The role of research in this field is constantly expanding, so that theoretical and applied research serves as a base for the preparation of norms and manuals designed to improve conservation processes and rationalize reprographic and reduction techniques.
Several countries are planning to develop their existing scientific research centres and establish new ones. Czechoslovakia is building a centre for applied research in document conservation and restoration, which will use the most up-to-date techniques. In the USSR, this type of research is carried out by VNIIDAD, which is responsible for the methodological supervision of the network of microfilm and restoration laboratories working for the State Archives. The Croatian State Archives in Zagreb are planning an archival research centre, in which research in the natural sciences will play a clearly defined part. Two further laboratories dealing with documents hygiene, conservation and restoration have been built in Bulgaria, in addition to the one already in existence. In Poland, the specialized laboratories of the conservation service of the General Directorate of State Archives play an important role. Other countries are also well advanced in this field.
Large-scale research projects generally require close co-operation with other experts who are engaged, to a greater or lesser extent, in research on paper, ink, film, their environment, biological agents which can damage documents and even the dangers inherent in documents themselves. Archivists in the United States work together with scientists specializing in restoration and reprography. They apply the findings of their work on the development of artificial aging methods, the use of laser beams, refrigeration techniques atomization with non-acid aerosols, etc.
In the USSR, the VNIIDAD laboratories work together with institutions of the Academy of Sciences and the major State libraries.
A number of countries have research programmes whose aim is to create durable media (paper, film, ink) and use them to solve the problem of document conservation (Great Britain, GDR, USSR and others).
The laboratory of W.D. Barrow (U.S.A) has studied the agents which hinder book and documents conservation, and ways of producing long-lasting paper.
In recent years, there has been a good deal of interest in synthetic paper (U.S.A and Japan). According to the information published on the subject, this type of paper is extremely stable and long-lasting but there is a problem of electrostatics to be dealt with. Great Britain has produced a type of paper called 'archival quality paper' which is guaranteed to last 500 years. The USSR has produced an experimental batch of long-lasting paper with a life of approximately 850 years. Research is being carried out into paper made from cotton fibres which would have a life of 1,000 years and could be used for particularly important documents.
However, the physical conservation of the paper does not as yet guarantee the conservation of the text. It has in fact been shown that ink often actively contributes to the destruction of a text. The interrelationship between the medium and the text thus had to be investigated with reference to conservation conditions, as did the parameters of the 'medium/text' system.
Scientific research and practical measures designed to combat infectious biogenic substances, particularly fungi, have also been given a fresh impetus. The objective is to protect not only paper documents but also films and photographic plates. The danger of placing infected documents in storage is particularly great in a tropical climate. Recent discoveries in the field of antisepsis open up major possibilities for the treatment of archival documents.
As a result of research into existing methods of mass disinfection the use of formation has gradually given way to more effective treatment with gas, using ethyl oxide, methyl bromide and other chemical products. Archivists in many countries also consider the physical method, which consists of disinfecting documents with high frequency currents, to be promising. Several countries (Bulgaria, France, Czechoslovakia) use ionizing radiation for this purpose.
Studies concerning the properties of computerized, audiovisual and other documents are a particular focus of interest at the moment. So far little is known about their durability or optimum storage conditions. The problem of the durability of the microfilms used in automatic data reduction systems (COM) is one of great urgency. The archives of several countries possess large collections of films and microfilms, and methodological guidelines for their storage and conservation are needed.
It is often necessary to reproduce the colours of documents by photographing them. It is thus essential to create new types of photographic media for the purposes of microfilming or photography, as well as optimum conditions for the chemical treatment and conservation of these materials.
The financing of means of observing certain ecological parameters should be considered in the light of the cost of protective treatment on the one hand and of the equipment of restoration laboratories on the other. Economic criteria must outweigh purely technical considerations, particularly as regards the choice of methods. Archivists require detailed information on new techniques in order to choose the most suitable materials. Several countries, particularly the USSR, have begun to draw up selection and assessment criteria for new materials intended for the State Archives and to prepare summary catalogues of these materials adapted to the specific aims of archives.
The question of what would constitute the 'ideal archives' has been discussed for some time now. Archivists in most countries associate this concept with the archives administration of the future. In countries where archives are considered to be part of the State's information potential the '"ideal archives' are seen in the context of a task to be carried out by archives either following their integration in a single national information system (Japan), or as a result of greater interdependence between the networks of archives, libraries and documentation centres (Great Britain) or finally, following the constitution of a computer 'network covering the whole country' (U.S.A.).
Archivists in the German Democratic Republic associate the definition of the 'ideal archives' with a definition of the role and functions of State Archives in a developed socialist society. In Czechoslovakia, the idea of 'ideal archives' is bound up with the project for the construction of an archives complex in Prague, of State Archives in Bratislava and of new archive buildings in other towns which would use the most up-to-date administrative techniques and information systems.
Archivists in the Federal Republic of Germany have outlined a model which the Federal Archives should, in their view, comply with by 1980. The Archives are considered as a cultural centre that stores a minimum of documents with the maximum content in a more compact form, and uses the latest techniques to satisfy the information requirements of the whole of society.
Soviet archivists believe that the traditional methods of archival storage call for improvements that go beyond changes in technological procedures and in the technical equipment used in archives. The research undertaken in this field aims to develop technological criteria for each technical operation. The specifications of projects relating to 'ideal archives' are being prepared, and studies are being carried out on recommendations concerning the equipment in archival repositories.
Great importance is now attached to the updating of technical and standard-setting documentation applicable to the construction and equipment of archives, together with the standardization of architectural design. Most countries consider it reasonable when building archives to take into account the physical constitution of the documents that are to be stored in them (paper, film, magnetic tapes) and to follow standardized plans. In Great Britain, the U.S.A., France and the Federal Republic of Germany, it is felt that documents that have not been sorted, and most of which will be destroyed after a short space of time, need only be preserved in intermediate repositories, which are built and equipped at a low cost and are clearly distinguished from archives proper. Structures of this kind already exist in a number of countries. Their main advantage is the relatively low cost of storing the documents, combined with the possibility of making maximum use of the space.
As for models of the ideal archives building and their construction, Soviet archivists take as their basis the fact that new trends in the field of archives point above all to the mechanization and complete automation of technological procedures such as data processing and collection, the conservation and use of documents, and to the introduction of new types of data carriers that make it possible to reduce archives to a very small scale and automate them.
4. The use of the computers and of microfilm in archives administration
One of the main tasks of archives administration is the establishment of automated systems which use computers to store, process and retrieve information.
In a number of countries, this has become a matter of urgency due to the rapid increase in the amount of documents that are preserved and recent advances in computer technology. The national archives in the United States are one of the main archival centres for the use of computers. There the automatic SPINDEX indexing system is used to process staff files and includes name, post, date and the document reference number.
The Public Record Office in London uses computers to store and produce data describing its collections and is thus able to publish directories using a photo-typesetter. A topographical index arranged by codes of groups of documents, by classes and by location is issued twice yearly for internal use.
The East Sussex County Record Office uses computers for cataloguing and records management (ARCAIC) and PARC systems. The Archives of the Federal
Republic of Germany are using a STAIRS system to retrieve data from stored documents and to compile indexes of names of persons, places and subjects. The Italian State Archives use an automatic indexing system to retrieve and produce summaries of notarial documents. The Canadian Federal Archives use the document indexing and monitoring system RECODEX, which was created with the assistance of the State bureau of computer services. The ALPHATEXT system has made it possible to draw up a standardized description of private archive collections (manuscripts) preserved in the Canadian Archives (30,000 items). The Belgian State Archives have introduced automatic cataloguing for the science library and printed records. Similar projects are under way in Austria, France, Japan, and in several other countries.
The Member States of COMECON are investigating the possibility of developing AIRS for archival purposes. These countries can draw on the experience of very large automated information centres. For instance, the Romanian State Archives have adopted the SARIAS descriptive system using a third generation computer. The system which uses an open thesaurus, operates on a two-pass principle, and is linked to a summary and a search facility recorded on magnetic tape. Czechoslovakia and the German Democratic Republic are using automated information systems and have computerized the whole sequence of document storage, retrieval and production (PENTAKA system in the GDR).
The USSR is working on the implementation of an automated scientific and technical information system which covers the documents of all the State Archives in the country. An automated scientific and technical documentation subsystem for the State Archives network will be established within this system. Document storage and processing will be carried out by means of a three-pass circuit designed to carry out the following functions:
- retrospective subject searches requested by an individual user or group of users;
- the selective circulation of information to a limited number of regular users;
- the statistical treatment of data.
The Central Catalogue AIRS (AIRS/CFC) will constitute a further part of the general automated documentary information system of the USSR State Archives. Its purpose is to store information on all the archive documents in the USSR, including their title, location, the amount of room they occupy in the storage units and several other factors.
The use of magnetic tape cassettes that are identical to the compact cassettes used in portable recordings opens up a wide range of possibilities. These cassettes are easy to store, transport or send by post. A mini-computer cassette can store from one to two million alphanumeric characters. Most minicomputers also have visual display units for both text and graphics.
In the major modern archive repositories effective document retrieval is based on the use of microfilms as information carriers. Microfilming reduces storage space and computer time in a rational way, and less paper is thus required.
For some time now there has been a clear tendency to use computerized data production systems employing a microphotographic medium (roll microfilm and microfiches), instead of separate microfilm units.
The AIRS/CFC is classed as a two-pass factographic documentary system. A variant of this system will use an information retrieval language of the descriptor-classification type with a position-based grammar. The two systems will be used together to assess collections of scientific and technical documents.
The development of programming systems for third generation computers has made it possible to set up effective integrated information systems bringing together the documentary collections of several archives. The exchange of data between archival centres can then be organized by location or communication networks.
AIRS specialists are showing great interest in the use of low-power computers ('mini-computers'), designed to handle relatively small numbers of documents. The mini-computers used in a number of local AIRS have already demonstrated their cost effectiveness chiefly on account of their lower price - and given satisfactory performances. Should the number of documents increase or more intensive use be made of the machines, the system's reserve of power may be supplemented by replacing certain components without incurring major expense. This adds to the system's flexibility.
The advantages of microfilm as an information carrier and of minicomputers as a means of processing this information have led to the establishment of relatively cheap specialized mini-systems for the storage, retrieval and production of copies of microfilms or of graphic documents. The application of these systems is, however, limited with regard to the number of documents that may be stored, the length of the index, the research algorithm, etc. The Miracod (Kodak, U.S.A.) Odelcod Filmdata Bank (De Oude Delft, the Netherlands) and Cezam (Cifal and Sait Data System, France) mini-systems have established their reputation. The Miracod system is used by the Canadian State Archives.
The retrieval of information on magnetic tape or in electronic memory banks direct to the user's console will become increasingly common. The automatic indexing of documents, real-time dialogue, and the establishment of a link between the computer and the communication system would make possible further significant improvements in the effectivenss of AIRS.
5. The need to develop a scientific archival terminology
Efficient archives administration is conditional upon the development of a special instrument of communication: scientific archival terminology. This will involve improvements in the definition of traditional concepts and the interpretation and assimilation of new terms adapted to the special nature of archival work.
The influence of terminology on administrative objectives is by its very nature informative; only its forms differ. In any case, a unified and unambiguous terminology encourages sound decision-making and makes it easier to carry decisions out. In addition, it makes scientific literature and informative publications less arduous reading.
The publication in the USSR of the 'Concise dictionary of archival terms' (1968) and the 'Concise dictionary of types and varieties of documents' (1974), which contain a considerable number of terms, marked a great stride forward in the unification of the theoretical aspects of archival science and records management in this country.
Several countries have established norms for archival terminology. In Sweden, this is done by the National Standardization Committee, on which sit representatives of the State Archives. In the USSR, a 1971 terminological bulletin contains 49 basic terms relating to the conservation of documents and archives whose use is compulsory in standard-setting documents and in specialized, technical and reference works.
Terminological research has repercussions beyond national frontiers, contributing to understanding among specialists on an international level and helping to surmount terminological barriers. Archivists in Poland, the GDR, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria are revising their terminological dictionaries and the latest editions already contain new terms.
The COMECON countries are at present engaged in terminological research which highlights the need for a common terminology that can only be achieved on the basis of a comparative analysis of the definitions used in the different national archival terminologies.
The compilation of an international dictionary under the aegis of the International Council on Archives, which would include archival terms in the Council's different working languages, would appear to be highly desirable, if not essential, for the future of archival science throughout the world.
By Richard De Gennaro
(Director of Libraries at the University of Pennsylvania)
"The real danger with... management systems is that they offer mechanistic formulas for dealing with complex realities and keep us from thinking about and solving our management problems in practical, realistic, and common sense ways
MONSIEUR JOURDAIN, Moli's Bourgeois Gentilhomme, was surprised and pleased to learn that he had been speaking prose all his life without knowing it. I felt the same way when I finally learned that I had been a manager for 20 years without knowing it. Well, I always knew that I was a library administrator, but somehow I never thought of myself as a manager because that term connoted a kind of modern professionalism that the more familiar term administrator lacked.
Ten years ago I attended the University of Maryland's excellent two-week development program for library administrators and was deeply impressed by the introductory courses and readings which covered the full range of subjects like McGregor's Theories X and Y, Management by Objectives (MBO), Program Budgeting (PPBS), Decision Theory, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Mathematical Modelling, Management Information Systems, etc. I came away thinking, somewhat naively, that business and other managers had mastered and were routinely using that arsenal of sophisticated management systems and techniques in their daily work, and that it was only library and perhaps academic administrators that were struggling along with the traditional methods. It was clear that we librarians had a lot of catching-up to do.
It was with some hesitation that I accepted the directorship of a large library in 1970 because I believed that research libraries were becoming increasingly costly and complex organizations and that I lacked the formal management training and skills that the job required. Determined to remedy my lack of formal training, I enrolled in the Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, a prestigious and expensive three-month program especially designed for high-level business, government, and military executives. I thought the '´B-School" would work its magic and convert me from a self-taught library administrator into a certified modern manager, but I was disappointed.
Early in its history, the Harvard Business School developed the case method of instruction and it has used it almost exclusively in its teaching ever since. The case method can be very effective, but it was overused in the executive development program. In three months, we never read anything but cases, and since the cases were all efficiently reproduced and distributed in convenient packets, we never had the need or the occasion to use the rich resources of the Baker Library. In fact, we seldom had to read from a real book or journal. The classics of management science were rarely mentioned, and with the exception of a few sessions on decision theory and computer simulation, almost no mention was made of any of the new management systems that had been developed and were presumably being used routinely everywhere but in libraries. The Harvard program was useful, but it did not give me the management knowledge and skills that I needed and wanted; so I continued to read about management and to attend management institutes and workshops. (Among the best and most useful are the short programs offered by ARL's Office of Management Studies.) This reading and supplementary training helped me to develop and sharpen my management skills over the years. At the same time, I was gaining confidence and maturity and getting a lot of practical on-the-job experience.
I was also called upon to serve on a number of boards, commissions, and committees; this gave me the opportunity to work closely with and observe a peer group of top managers and executives, not only in libraries, but in universities, business firms, and government offices. I found that most of them, like me, had no special management training or education and were struggling, each in his or her own unscientific way, to do the management jobs to which they had been appointed. Some were more competent and effective than others, but previous formal management training seemed not to make any significant difference. Indeed, it was hard to tell who had training and who didn't. I noticed that there were few trained management experts in top level management positions. Instead, they were working as specialists in staff positions or as teachers, researchers, or consultants.
I could not see any real difference in what I was doing as a library director and what my peers in other fields were doing. After a while, I began to suspect that the reality of what we managers were experiencing in our day-to-day activities had more validity than the theoretical world of management that was being described in books and articles written by management professors and social scientists.
I was confirmed in that view when I read Henry Mintzberg's The Nature of Managerial Work. Mintzberg, a McGill University management professor, had a much different view of management and the way managers worked than the conventional authors: that view checked with my own experience as a library administrator. In order to find out and describe what managers actually did, he conducted a number of studies and also scanned the literature to integrate and synthesize the findings of other studies with his own.
How do managers manage?
The studies by Mintzberg and other researchers showed that from street gang leaders to the President of the United States, managers do not spend their time planning, organizing, coordinating, and controlling as the French industrialist, Henri Fayol said they did in 1916 and as most writers on management have continued to repeat ever since. They are not like the orchestra leader who directs the component parts of his organization with ease and precision. Instead, they spend their time reacting to crises, seizing special opportunities, attending meetings, negotiating, talking on the telephone, cultivating interpersonal and political relationships, gathering and disseminating information, and fulfilling a variety of ceremonial functions. Mintzberg says:
I was struck during my study by the fact that the executives I was observing-all very competent by any standard-are fundamentally indistinguishable from their counterparts of a hundred years ago (or a thousand years ago, for that matter). The information they need differs, but they seek it in the same way-by word of mouth. Their decisions concern modern technology, but the procedures they use to make them are the same as the procedures of the 19th Century manager. Even the computer, so important for the specialized work of the organization, has apparently had no influence on the work procedures of general managers. In fact, the manager is in a kind of loop, with increasingly heavy work pressures but no aid forthcoming from management science.
The Mintzberg view is by no means unique. There is a growing number of management scholars who are questioning the conventional view of management and what managers do. In a critical review of On Management (Harper, 1976), a book of articles selected from 25 years of the Harvard Business Review, Albert Shapero, a management professor at the University of Texas, strikes a similar note:
The term management conjures up images of control, rationality, systematic: but studies of what managers actually do depict behaviors and situations that are chaotic, unplanned, and charged with improvisation. The Managerial life at every level is reflexive-responding to calls, memos, personnel problems, fire drills budget meetings, and personnel reviews. Occasionally, however, we find at managerial levels individuals who go 24 hours without being interrupted by meetings or phone calls. They are the long-range planners. the people in O.R.. E.D.P., financial or market planning, or market research. Management is really for them. The bulk of the articles in On Management are concerned with ideas from the world of the staff functionary.
Are management systems really used?
What about the claims of widespread use of new scientific management systems and techniques? Is it really true that managers in business, government, and other institutions are using them extensively while we library administrators are lagging far behind?
Let's first look at what a few of the management experts say about the use of these systems in general, and then we will look at their use in libraries.
William R. Dill. dean of the Graduate School of Business Administration at New York University, makes this sober assessment:
For all the progress we have made in developing good approaches to planning, forecasting, budgeting, and control, and for all the enthusiasm we in schools of management have helped to build for these approaches. their use has been fitful and sporadic. even in the most analytically sophisticated and goal-oriented institutions. In corporations that are pointed out as models for what can be accomplished, the outputs of planning, budgeting. and modeling staffs are often quietly ignored by operating people when times are good; these outputs often seem irrelevant in times of sudden challenge or change. Analysis and planning are still far from foolproof ways to anticipate change and potential crises.
Aaron Wildavsky, dean of the Graduate School of Public Policy at the university of California, Berkeley, has written a number of articles in which he argues convincingly, citing evidence and authorities, that the major modern information systems like PERT, MBO, PPBS. Social Indicators, and Zero Based Budgeting have not worked and cannot work. About PERT (Program Evaluation Review Technique), he says that the few studies that exist suggest that outside of construction, where one activity tends to follow another, PERT is rarely successful."
On MBO (Management by Objectives), he says: "The trouble with MBO is that the attempt to formalize procedures for choosing objectives without considering organizational dynamics leads to the opposite of what was intended-bad management, irrational choice, and ineffective decision-making."7 The main product of MBO, as experience in the United States federal government suggests, is, literally, a series of objectives. Aside from the unnecessary paper work, such exercises are self defeating because they become mechanisms for avoiding rather than making choices. Long lists of objectives are useless because rarely do resources remain beyond the first few."
On PPBS, Wildavsky is equally harsh. He says that "Program budgeting does not work anywhere in the world it has been tried, and that no one knows how to do program budgeting. His assessments of Social Indicators and Zero Based Budgeting are in a similar vein.
These realistic assessments that we are getting from authorities like Mintzberg, Shapero, Dill, Wildavsky, and others should serve to remind us to maintain a healthy skepticism whenever we read about the effectiveness and widespread use of new management systems and techniques. We librarians should guard against the tendency we have to look for panaceas and to accept uncritically the claims and promises made on behalf of each new management theory or system that appears.
Consider the minimal impact on libraries as compared with the initial promise, for example, of PPBS, Operations Research, MBO, and even Participative Management.
To the best of my knowledge, PPBS has not been successfully implemented in a single library and I doubt that it ever will be. Interest in it is rapidly waning.
The practical application of Operations Research in libraries has been extremely limited to date. One of the earliest and best known economic analyses of library decision making was done in the MIT Libraries in 1969. The report of that study came to this sobering conclusion: Although helpful, an economic analysis of a university (or public) library is insufficient because libraries operate as political systems and thus improving libraries requires political analysis. In an excellent article on library decision making, Jeffrey Raffel, an economist and co-author of the MIT study begins by saying that in general, the more important the decision, the less beneficial a cost-benefit analysis is to library decision makers, and concludes by saying that it is time that we all recognized the politics of libraries and acted accordingly.
In a classic paper on Management by Objectives in academic libraries, lames Michalko, after a thorough, critical review of the literature, recommends against the use of MBO in libraries on the grounds that it is a limited approach which is costly and difficult to implement and which yields uncertain results.
Participative management is another "new management technique that has been particularly oversold in the last decade. In fact, it is considered by many librarians to be the perfect management system. Good management has always included consultation and participation, it is just the name. the faddishness, and some of the formal structures that are new. When used properly and honestly, participative management is a useful process at all levels, and not just by top managers on major decisions as is sometimes assumed. It is essential that there be appropriate consultation and participation of interested and competent staff members on important decisions affecting them. But participative management will not bring on the management millenium in libraries.
Participative management is not decision making by committee or by staff plebiscite. Good management requires that when all the facts have been gathered and analyzed and all the advice is in, the appropriate administrator has to make the decision and take responsibility for it. Knowing when and how to seek and take advantage of consultative advice and prior approval of decisions where appropriate is one of the most important managerial skills. Decisions should be made at the lowest competent level. The library's critical strategy decisions involve a world outside the library and must usually be made by the director and his chief associates. Staff committees can give good advice on such matters, but they simply do not have the information, the knowledge, or the perspective required to make those decisions-and they cannot take responsibility for the results.
One extreme form of participative management, the collegial or faculty system of governance, was developed for academic departments; it works badly there and worse or not at all in libraries. Where it appears to work, it is because those involved have tacitly made concessions to traditional hierarchical systems and the demands of the environment while preserving the collegial form. A library is not an academic department, it is a service organization and should be so administered. A librarian by any other name is still a librarian and it is time for mature acceptance of that fact.
Perhaps the reason that participative management has been embraced so enthusiastically and uncritically by librarians in recent years is not because of its management benefits, but because it appears to be the model that best justifies faculty status. It is assumed that because faculty members participate in a collegial academic decision-making process, that model is the appropriate one to use in libraries-if librarians are to achieve faculty status. Much of the library-based management literature since 1970 is self-serving and reflects a direct or indirect preoccupation with matters of staff status and benefits frequently hidden behind arguments for participative management. It is time that we recognized this natural bias and took steps to overcome it by giving more attention and weight to the more objective management literature from outside the library field.
Two recent articles on participative management in libraries, one by James Govan and the other by Dennis Dickenson, give encouraging evidence that the library profession is beginning to take a more realistic and balanced view of the advantages and limitations of participative management and collegial governance. Govan reminds us that:
Librarians cannot afford to degrade services nor alienate their users in an effort, however enlightened or well intentioned, to make their jobs more challenging and satisfying. Participation and consultation cost time and money and often, like faculty deliberations, produce rather conservative results. In this connection, it is useful to remember Masiow's belief that Theory Y is possible only in periods of affluence. It is also healthy to recall Drucker's statement that service institutions do not operate for the people who work in them.
In his perceptive article, Dickenson tries to provide an antidote for some of the more extreme and sometimes naive interpretations of participative management that appear from time to time in library literature.
Peter Drucker summed up an important truth about management when he said in response to an interviewer's question about the efficacy of new management techniques: The young people today expect to see business run by theory, knowlege, concepts, and planning. But then they find it is run like the rest of the world-by experience and expediency, by who you know, and by the hydrostatic pressure in your bladder.
This is not just the way business is run. it is the way libraries are run as well. And it is the way they will continue to be run despite the current rhetoric about the managerial revolution that is being ushered in by the use of new quantitative and psychological management systems and theories.
Why? Because a library operates in a political environment and nearly all the really important decisions that are made at the highest levels have an overriding political component. They are rarely the product of cost benefit analysis or Operations Research where the various factors are weighed and compared and the best or most cost-effective course is chosen. These management techniques can be useful sometimes to implement a program or a project in the most effective manner after the political decision to proceed has been made. They can also be useful in providing a rationale to support some essentially political decision that is being proposed or advocated, or to impress higher authorities or constituents with the competence of the managers and the rationality of their decision making process. Management systems, particularly PPBS, ZBB, and PERT are used in government and military bureaucracies largely because they are mandated by law or regulation.
In the library world, as in education. business, and government. few major program decisions are made solely or even largely on the basis of careful studies of needs and costs. Consider, for example, decisions to build a new library building, to open a new departmental or branch library, to achieve excellence in some special subject discipline, or to embark on a major automation program. These program decisions are usually the result of an initiative or vision by an imaginative and powerful person, perhaps a library director. a dean. a president, a mayor, or other official. They are political, emotional. or even personal decisions-justified, rationalized, and perhaps implemented with the assistance of various kinds of analyses and studies, but seldom derived from them.
It is important that librarians understand how and why these really critical decisions are made so that they will not be disillusioned or discouraged when they discover that the best, the most efficient, or the least expensive solution frequently loses out to the one that is the most politically expedient or attractive.
The quantitative approach
I think it is important to make a distinction between the claims made on behalf of complex quantitative management systems such as Operations Research and Cost-Benefit Analysis. and the collection and analysis of quantitative data in libraries to assist in rational decision making. I am questioning the validity and usefulness of these complex systems, but I am not questioning the need for and use of quantitative studies for measuring and evaluating library services. Quite the contrary, we need to know more about libraries, their resources, and how they are actually used. We have relied historically upon input data, e.g., the number of books acquired. the number of serials subscribed to, the number of books circulated, the dollars spent, etc. The qualitative characteristics of these data are dubious; we desperately need reliable measures of library effectiveness.
Following the pioneering work by Fremont Rider in 1940 on the growth of research libraries, there has been an increasing number of extremely valuable quantitative studies like those by Fussler, Lancaster, Buckland, and other works of solid quality. The findings of such studies provide the theoretical foundations and practical knowledge that working library managers need to draw on to help them think clearly and creatively about library management and to make sound decisions based on valid data. This is especially true in this time of transition when the conventional wisdom of our profession will not suffice to see us through.
As one of the library managers for whose benefit and use such studies are presumably made, I thank the authors and urge them on to greater productivity and precision. I also urge them to try to keep their studies as simple as possible and to summarize their findings in readable English.
Unfortunately, a good deal of the quantitative research that is done in the library field is unintelligible, irrelevant, or too complicated and theoretical for any practical use in libraries. Much of it is written in the language of higher mathematics which is incomprehensible to most managers. This is particularly true of studies that are made by academics outside the library field such as statisticians, economists, psychologists, Operations Research people, etc. Their goal is not necessarily to do studies that are useful, but to demonstrate their mathematical prowess, to test theories and methodologies, to get published, and to award doctoral degrees to deserving graduate students. They select the library as their laboratory because it is convenient and because they think it is virgin territory ready for easy exploitation. They are more interested in the process than in the results.
The most useful library research is done by librarians or others with a serious long-term interest and involvement in libraries who work with librarians in a spirit of genuine collaboration. They are trying to make an impact. It is the difference between a class assignment and the real thing, between war games and war.
A notable exception to this criticism of academics is the landmark work by William J. Baumol and Matityahu Marcus, Economies of Academic Libraries (American Council on Education, Washington, D.C., 1973). These two economists went to unusual lengths to explain their statistical methods and to summarize their conclusions with refreshing brevity and clarity. As a consequence, their work is widely read and frequently cited.
Management scientists and other quantitatively oriented researchers frequently wonder why the results of quantitative research studies are not used more by practicing library managers in the decision making process. One reason is that the mathematics and the methodologies required are far too complex and difficult for operating managers to learn and apply in their busy work environments. Few senior library administrators have the kind of staff support needed to successfully carry out complex analyses. Another and equally important reason is that the quantitative approach does not and cannot take into sufficient account the complex of political, organizational, and psychological factors that characterize the real work where people are more potent than numbers or logic.
The quality of many decisions could be significantly improved if we had more and better data, but many of the more important decisions have a relatively small quantitative component. As a library director, I seldom have a critical need for more quantitative data than are available from regularly kept statistics or by having someone make a special and usually simple survey and analysis of the problem. When the data are simply not available or too difficult to assemble, I can usually find a satisfactory way to manage without them. My real problem has nearly always been to correctly assess the political rather than the economic or quantitative factors. It is fairly easy to determine the most cost-effective course of action with or without detailed data. It is much harder to map out and implement a successful strategy for achieving it, to assess how the various persons and groups affected will perceive the manager's intentions, and how they will react to the decision. Someone said that quantification is not synonymous with management. Finding the best or most cost-effective course of action is not the same as getting it accepted. Sometimes the quality of a decision is critical, other times, it is acceptance.
Effective decision making processes in large academic and public libraries involve complex sets of policies, procedures, and problems which require a variety of different kinds of information and approaches. Some decisions will be authoritarian. some will he collegial, some will be made by committees, and some will be made by combinations of the above. Library directors are not all knowing, nor are the collective judgments of library faculties and committees infallible. Different situations call for different approaches. There are no simple formulas and no easy answers.
The new management systems that I have been discussing in this article divide into two general categories. There are quantitative systems such as Operations Research, PPBS, and ZBB, end psychological or behavioral systems such as Theory Y (and its variants) and MBO. In each system. there are a number of concepts, ideas, tools, and techniques that have validity and can be used to advantage by library managers, but as comprehensive systems they are all far too theoretical, complex, and simplistic to be applied successfully by ordinary managers in the day-to-day work environment. Few managers have the time or the specialized knowledge and skills required to make these systems work, and those that do are probably astute enough to manage as well or better without them.
In the hands of amateurs-and this is most of us-the quantitative systems frequently produce misleading and wrong solutions, while the psychological or behavioral systems can lead to the manipulation and misuse of people. The real danger with both kinds of management systems is that they offer mechanistic formulas for dealing with complex realities and keep us from thinking about and solving our management problems in practical, realistic, and common sense ways.
Despite the many claims to the contrary, management is not yet a science. It is still an art, but is very much an art that can and should be mastered and practiced by librarians.
1. Henry Mintzberg, The Nature of Managerial Work-. Harper, 1973.
2. A very readable summary of Mintzberg's findings and views appeared in a much cited and reprinted article by him entitled. The Manager's Job: Folklore and Fact, Harvard Business Review, July-August 1975. p. 49-61.
3. Mintzberg, The Manager's Job..." p. 54.
4. Albert Shapero, What Management Says and What Managers Do, Fortune, May 1975, p. 275.
5. William R. Dill. When Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot... From Cyert and March to Cyert vs. March," in: Richard M. Cyen. The Management of Nonprofit Organizaitons. Heath, 1975. p. 67.
6. Aaron Wildavksy. Policy Analysis Is What Information Systems Are Not. Working Paper #53, July 1976. copy of a typescript of a paper delivered at the ASIS Conference, October 1976, p. 3.
7. Wildavsky, "Policy Analysis..." p. 5.
8. Wildavsky. Policy Analysis ...'"p. 6.
9. Aaron Wildavsky, Rescuing Policy Analysis from PPBS. Public Administration Review, March/April 1969. p. 193.
10. The reasons can be found in an authoritative study by Guy Joseph De Genaro. A Planning-Programming-Budgeting System (PPBS) in Academic Libranes: Development of Objectives and Effectiveness Measures. Ph. D. dissertation. University of Florida, 1971.
11. Jeffrey A. Raffel. 'From Economic to Political Analysis of Library Decision Making,' College & Research Libraries. November 1974. p. 412.
12. Raffel, From Economic to Political Analysis ..., p. 412, 421.
13. James Michalko. Management by Objectives and the Academic Library: a Critical Overview.' Library Quaterly. Vol. 45. No. 3. 1975. p. 235-52.
14. James F. Govan, The Better Mousetrap: External Accountability and Staff Participation, Library Trends Fall 1917. p. 264.
15. Dennis W. Dickenson, Some Reflections on Participative Management in Libraries, College & Research Libraries. July 1978. p. 261.
16. Thomas J. Murray, Peter Drucker Attacks: Our Topheavy Corporations. Dun's, April 1974. p. 40.
17. Fremont Rider. The Scholar and the Future of the Research Library, Hadham Pr.. 1944.
18. Herman H. Fussler & J. L. Simon. Patterns in the Use of Books in Large Research Libraries. Univ. of Chicago, Pr.. 1969.
19. F. W. Lancaster, The Measurement and Evaluation of Library Services, Washington, D.C.. Information Resources Press, 1977.
20. Michael K. Buckland Book Availability and the Library User, Pergamon, 1975.
21. See for example: A. Graham McKenzie, Whither Our Academic Libraries? Journal of Documentation, June 1976, p. 129.
(The Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China, Chongqing Branch)
Management, as a human organized activity, has been in existent e in organized society throughout all civilized history, although its systematic study as a branch of science is fairly recent. It emerges and develops along with the development of social productivity and obviously the management approaches have become more advanced and progressive to correspond with the progress of human society. That is to say the management approaches have a very close relation with social productivity and the economic formation of society. The library as a part of the social fabric, has existed in all ages of organized society. Management approaches in business, industry and social administration have inevitably influenced library management, and 50 would the past approaches influence the recent grits. The influence between one part of the world and other parts is extremely evident in modern society because of the advanced means of transportation and communication.
According to some hooks on management, the development of management in western countries can be roughly divided into four periodis: the prescientific period (before 1800), the scientific period (1800 1927), the human-relations period (1927 50) and the synthesis period (1950 present). Library management practice has generally followed the same pattern of development, several years later than business and industry. A study of the development of management in China and in Chinese libraries has revealed that it by and large follows the same basic lines. Therefore, it would be beneficial to take a short look at the development of business and library management in western countries first before dealing with the management approaches in China in general and in Chinese library and information services in particular.
The prescientific management approach existed during the period of slavery and feudal society. The word for these periods would be autocratic. To become a manager throughout these periods one only needed authority, power and coercion. There were no human rights as we speak of today, no willing participation and co-operation between manager and the managed. The industrial revolution beginning with the invention of Watt's steam engine and the spinning Jenny promoted the development of modern industry in the eighteenth century and brought with it the first glimmer of understanding in terms of management skill. Many principles and methodology of modern sciences were applied to problems of administration. In this context, the scientific management approach came into being. But most of the managerial concepts of the time emphasized organizational aspects, especially those relating to the production of goods. Attention was focused on production, efficiency, and the prevention of waste. Human factors were neglected. In contrast to this, the main emphasis of the human relations approach was on the individual and the informal group in the formal organization. This approach was concerned with integrating people into a work environment. The phrase "personnel administration" came into prominence at this time, and increased efforts towards democratization and staff participation were evident. This period was a reaction against the overemphasis on productivity during the scientific management period. In order to overcome the one-sidedness of both the scientific management approach and the human relations approach, most of the effort expended in developing management thinking and concepts has, since the early 1950s, been toward refining the work started by F. W. Taylor (the scientific approach advocate) and 1,. Mayo (the human relations approach advocate) and combining elements of both with ideas from other fields such behavioural sciences. Thus management theory and practice has entered into a new stage the synthesis period. This approach pays more attention to individual ego needs besides economic and social needs for work motivation and also attaches importance to the work situation which consists of three elements: people, organization and environment. Only if all these six factors are in balance can a harmonious and pleasant work situation be achieved and increased productivity as well.
The development of library management can also be roughly divided into three basis periods, i.e. pre- 1937, the scientific (1937-1955) and the human relations (1955 present). However, these time divisions art somewhat arbitrary, as the overlap between one period and another is very great, although there is some evidence that the periods identified do represent an effort on the part of library administrators to pick up some of the ideas coming out of the disciplines of business management and public administration.
Most libraries in the period before 1937 tended to be small. As the concern was simply to keep the libraries open, there was very little need to be concerned about costs and management. The chief librarian was expected to run the library and to make the decisions in almost all stages of its operation. Libraries had been run with a rather traditional and conservative approach. In the late 1930s, a number of changes in library services took place and in some respects there were great strides forward. Studies on cost analysis, technical services, cataloguing and use of edge cards appeared about this time. Then people began to look seriously at some of the work done by Taylor and others to see whether or not there were sonic techniques applicable to the library, situation. After the Second World War, with the rapid development of science and technology, and the urgent needs for scientific information and education, the budgets of libraries increased as well as new library building and collections. To cope with this new situation, libraries began applying a combination of the scientific management approach of the Taylor school with some of the new mathematical operations research techniques developed during the War and began to emphasize, efficient operation. However, being administrators of non-profit making institutions they had little or no idea about how much it cost to carry Out various library activities during this period, until in the mid-1960s computer application and systems analysis became more feasible for the library situation. The human relations school in library management came into being about 1955 and has had a continuing influence on library administration up to present time. In most libraries, human relations management means democratic administration, participative administration and involvement in the decision-making process, although there are several difficulties and problems in its practice.
More and more evidence demonstrates that the synthesis management approach is not only a theoretical concept, but a practical method employed in many libraries in recent years. As a matter of fact, no library administrator confines himself to one definite management style or school, but usually combines several styles or schools with scientific approach as the core. The Introduction of computers and modern facilities of communication and other electronic technology into libraries has had a profound effect on library management. No doubt, library management will continue to improve. Managers or administrators of libraries will have the background to make better selections from the developments in management and related fields. As this takes place the libraries should become a more basic part of the community arid a pleasant environment in which to work.
MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA
As stated above, management development has a close relationship with social development. T. F. Mention's great contribution to social sciences is his discovery, that human society in all parts of the world has by arid large gone through the same stages of social formation. Management development in China can also be roughly divided into three basic periods as in western countries, but with some differences. The main differences are: firstly, the prescientific period is rather long in China and the approaches of that period have strong influence on the approaches which followed, because of the long history of feudal society in China and the long dominant influence of Confucianism on Chinese ideology and ethics. Secondly, China went through semi-feudal and semi-colonial society, i.e. a mixed social formation of feudalism and colonialism, in the last century, which makes the scientific approach in China during this period somewhat different from the western one. Thirdly, the new democratic and socialist revolution in China inevitably marked a new stage of management development in China.
As for the temporal divisions, the whole period of Chinese slavery and feudal societies is prescientific; the scientific period began with the first attempt at introducing techniques of capitalist production (called the -Westernization-Movement- initiated by comprador bureaucrats in the latter half of the nineteenth century) till the founding of the People's Republic in 1949. Then began a new approach of socialist scientific management which is a different concept, but somewhat similar to human relations or synthesis approaches, and is the one that still needs to be developed and perfected.
Being one of the most ancient civilized countries in the world, China was outstanding in administering state affairs, organizing military operations and managing great projects such as the Great Wall and the Grand Canal in ancient times. Administrative affairs were systematized arid regularized as early as Xia Dynasty, (21 - 16th century, BC.) according to historical recordings. During the periods called the Spring and Autumn, and Waring States (770 - 221 BC), there was a period of time called the "Contention of a Hundred Schools of Tought Of, these schools, Legalists and Confucianists were in a dominant position and had a strong influence alternatively on the approaches of state administration. Legalists advocated reform and -ruling by law". Qin Xiao Gong, the Duke of the State of Qin appointed legalists as his senior officials and carried out reform. Very soon, his state became stronger than the other states and finally defeated all of them. In the end, the whole of China was reunited by his grandson Qin Shi Huang, the noted first emperor of the Qin Dynasty in 221. Confucianists advocated "Following the previous kings' practice" which was rather conservative. Because of the needs to consolidate the centralized feudal monarchy, Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty (206BC - AD220) implemented a policy of "Banning the other schools of thought and solely esteeming Confucianism". Since then, Confucianism dominated Chinese ideology for about two thousand years. The doctrine of obedience and loyalty to superiors benefited the ruling classes, but hampered people's initiative and creativity and fettered the productive forces. That is the reason why China could not move from a feudal society to a capitalist society in modern history, though the seeds of capitalism emerged long before they did in western countries, i.e. the thirteenth century, at the end of the Yuan Dynasty and the beginning of the Ming Dynasty. Autocracy in tile feudal society of China was so strong that even successive peasant uprisings could not shake its foundation until the invasion of foreign imperialism in the last century.
The repeated defeats in the wars between feudal China and foreign aggressors completely exposed the corrupt nature of the Qing Dynasty. These events on the one hand promoted the Reform Movement within the ruling classes and bourgeois democratic revolution of the people, and on the other hand introduced the ways and techniques of capitalist production and management. The rising of comprador-bureaucratic capitalism and the presence of foreign capitalism turned feudal China into a semi-feudal and semi-colonial country politically and economically. Management approaches in industry and business in this period were, in the main, scientific ones, but more autocratic. Workers had to work long hours, for low wages and in poor working conditions. Management in some enterprises during this period still relied heavily on coercion.
In discussing management in new China, two facts that make the nature of management differ from the western one must be noted. One is that China had abolished feudalism through land reform and later, capitalism through socialist transformation. All land, natural resources and means of production now belong to the people. Another fact is that the working people are politically masters of their own country. The principle of "cadre participation in collective productive labour and worker participation in management" ensures their position in production being equal to that of managers. Most of them work conscientiously and enthusiastically. This was especially true during the 1950s when planning, efficiency and economic results, in a sense, were emphasized, while labour emulation and voluntary labour were also encouraged. People were motivated mainly by spiritual reward in the early years. The participation in decision making. and the supervision over the management by workers are the striking characteristics of socialist management.
In the early 1950s, China stood politically on the side of the Soviet Union and learnt economically from the Russian. To some extent, China just copied the Soviet model in management as in other fields, which did not quite accord with China's real situation in many respects. It is wise for any country to learn from others' experiences and apply them in a creative way so as to develop her own. The "Charter of the Anshan Iron and Steel Company" was a systematic and comprehensive set of management regulations in industry stipulated by China in the early 1960s, which was then summarized into "70 Regulations" called Management Regulations for Industries, Mines and Enterprises-. Unfortunately, these regulations, influenced by left political idea had several defects. For example, while exaggerating the situation of class struggle in socialist society and overemphasizing the importance of mass movement in industry, scientific rules and methods were not respected adequately. The authorities concerned were simply after a high production quota, high output and quantity, while quality, efficiency, cost unit, economic results and the law of value were overlooked. That is what people usually called "too much enthusiasm and too little scientific consideration". However, for many years since the early 1950s, Sun Yefang, the former director of the Institute of Economics of the Academy of Social Sciences and a noted economist, has established a series of socialist economic principles in management in the context of China, such as those on achieving maximum economic results with minimum labour consumption; on paying attention to the law of value and profits in a planned economy; on enlarging enterprises' rights of management; and on the correct application of economic levers and raising the position of profit in management. His theories divined correctly that the mechanical copying of the Soviet model and the "left" deviation policies would do no good to Chinese economy. Unfortunately, Sun's theories were not accepted by the former authorities, and instead, he was criticized and accused of being revisionist. just at that time, scientific laws and economic rules were not fully observed and people's socialist enthusiasm was abused, thus causing two great setbacks during 1959-61 and 1966-76 in economic construction. The penalty for that is heavy: the huge waste of time, natural resources and human energy, especially the people's enthusiasm. The most successful enterprise in the early 1960s was Daquing Oil Field which was regarded as an example of scientific management in industry by the whole of China for many years. One of its management principles, the system of personal responsibility, is still adopted by all factories.
In recent years, things have been changing a lot. Scientific management is reemphasized in addition to economic system reform and technical transformation. Efficiency and economic results are again the vital norms for evaluating the success of a unit's management. People's material interests are linked with production. They are encouraged to do more work, get more. pay and be well off before others. Since individual interests have a lot to do with the interests of the units, every one is very much concerned with what is going on in his units and has a great say in decision making. Equalitarianism is rejected in the salary system nowadays. Instead, differentials are established according to kind of work and the quantity and quality of work done, and thus the socialist principle of product distribution, i.e. "from each according to his ability, to each according to his work", is really carried out. People are thereby motivated and inspired, and the relations between the managed and managers, and among colleagues and follow workers, are thus improved. On the other hand, each production unit has more rights of self'-management. That is to say it is more independent than it was, and assumes sole responsibility for its own profits and losses, which directly concern the income of both managers and staff. Under this situation, the initiative and enthusiasm of the people are brought into full play and thereby productivity is raised and output increased.
China is now experiencing a period of transformation through which some defects in the existing system will be overcome and some new approaches suitable to China's specific condition will be found on the basis of other management approaches for her modernization. Library and information services, as part of society, are sure to apply some of the principles of industry and business management to their own management, with some modifications in order to suit their own needs.
LIBRARY MANAGEMENT IN OLD CHINA
The existence of libraries in China can be traced back as far as the Shang Dynasty (1600-1100 BC). Although China has been noted for her prosperous imperial and private libraries for thousands of years, the main function of these early libraries was to collect and keep books, as in other countries. The use of these libraries was restricted to imperial families, senior officials and noted scholars, not for the general public. However, the prosperity of Shu Yuan (academy) libraries and private libraries in the Ming (AD 1368-1644) and especially the Qing Dynasty (AD 1644-1911) played an important role in spreading literacy and knowledge and in preserving rare editions of ancient books. The former libraries were designated only for the reference use of teachers and students. Books could not be taken out of the library premises. The latter were merely for book collection, but sometimes could be consulted by friends and noted scholars. These collectors were usually bibliographers or experts on textual criticism, examination and correction and were sometimes also book publishers. Book lending was generally impossible. Because of the relatively small size of most private libraries, almost all operations could be done by one person. A few private libraries such as the Tian Yi Ge and the Xi Gu Ge which had existed for several hundred years, had very, large collections by the standards of those years. For example, the Tian Yi Ge had 70000 volumes and the Xi Gu Ge 84000 volumes. Unfortunately, war, damage and financial problems made the existence of these libraries very difficult in old China. Finally, all of them were taken over by the state.
There are few records about the management of imperial libraries, and yet the development of Chinese classification such as the Si Bu Fa (the Four Division Classification Scheme), the compilation of large encyclopaedia such as the Yong Le Da Dian, and national bibliographies such as the Si Ku Quan Shu in feudal China indicate certain success in managing these libraries.
Modern libraries in China began with the establishment of the first public library in Wuhan, Hubei Province and especially the founding of the Metropolitan Library, now the Beijing National Library, in 1910. The transition from traditional library functions to modern ones took place thereafter. The main trends during this period are as follows:
(1) The functions of the library were no longer merely for collecting and keeping but also for using books.
(2) Libraries were gradually used by everyone and not only by the privileged few.
(3) The collection of books on modern sciences and technology rather than the Chinese classics was stressed.
(4) Better service and satisfaction for users were required.
(5) Books were no longer classified by languages but by subjects.
(6) More attention was paid to the division of work and specialization as well as professional training in management.
The open shelf system was popular in many libraries. Book from catalogues were replaced by catalogue cards. Modern decimal classification, i.e. Dewey's scheme was introduced to replace the traditional Chinese Si Bu Fa, which was no longer suitable for modern scientific and technical literatures. Library science was also introduced into China and studied during this period. Many noted scholars and librarians made great contributions to the development of librarianship and library services in old China. For example, Professor LI Dazhao, one of the earliest propagators of Marxism- Leninism in China, was the former director of Beijing University Library from 1918 to 1922. He strongly advocated that the library should not be a book storage, but a place for research, and education; a librarian should not be a book keeper, but a researcher and instructor; the library should open to the laboring class free of charge. He took a lead in introducing open shelves in his library for the convenience of students. For this purpose, he changed shelving from traditional dictionary form, or alphabetical order into subject classification and organized catalogue cards of books in western languages by following Dewey's classification. He also paid great attention to statistics in order to improve the quality of service and satisfy the users needs.
Tile great contributions of the Beijing National Library to tile culture of modern China lies in its effort and success in collecting, preserving and sorting out Chinese classics, rare editions of ancient books and important documents, and in building a large collection of scientific and technical literatures in foreign languages, despite foreign aggression, civil wars, disasters and the corruption of previous governments. As for management during this period, it was mainly traditional.
LIBRARY MANAGEMENT IN NEW CHINA
Library services in new China have expanded rapidly in the last thirty years and a national network has been formed. Now, there are already about 20000 libraries of various types with more than 100000 staff. Take the public library and the university library as examples. By 1981, there were 1731 public libraries above county level with a staff of 19641 and 670 university libraries with a staff of 17000. Both types of libraries have total collections of about 190 million volumes. By comparison in 1956 there were only 96 public libraries above county level, with 3714 staff and 28-9 million volumes and 212 university libraries with 3568 staff and 37-28 million volumes. The Administrative Bureau for Library Services at the Ministry of Culture, a central agency for the planning and co-ordinating library development of all types, was set up in 1981 to suit the new situation brought about by the modernization drive in China. Furthermore, each type of library has a central unit for coordinating its activities, e.g. the Beijing National Library for public libraries. The Academy of Sciences Library for science libraries, and the Ministry of Education for university libraries. The expansion of library services in China demonstrates that libraries have played an important role in economic construction and education and are already an indispensable part of society. At the same time, Chinese librarians have gained some experience in library management and made some progress in the study of librarianship. For instance, the central authorities concerned have in the last two years sponsored a number of conferences, at which several working regulations have been formulated or revised respectively for public libraries, science libraries and university libraries in order to improve working efficiency and the quality of service. Another important event is the promulgation by the state Council in 1981 of The Temporary Provisions of Professional Titles for Library, Archive and Information Personnel", which is of tremendous significance for improving personnel management and inspiring stair enthusiasm.
Standardization of documentation is the key link for library management. Since its founding in 1979, the National Documentation Standardization Technical Committee of China has done a lot in this field. It has sponsored several workshops in co-operation with the China Society of Library Science and the China Society of Scientific and Technical Information to examine "The National Standard Entries for Cataloguing" prepared by the Standardization Group of Beijing National Library, "The Abstract and Title-list Entry Formats for Retrieval journals" prepared by ISTIC, and suggest the use of The Classification Scheme for Chinese Libraries" (including both the detailed version of the -Classification Scheme for Documents" and the simplified version) and of-The Chinese Thesaurus". This Committee also worked out-Tape Formats for Catalogue Information Exchange", -Name Codes for Nations and Regions", "Sex Codes for People, The Codes for Administrative Regions of PRC and -The Standardized Codes of Chinese Characters for Information Exchange". The latter two, already Chinese National Standards, are being prepared for submission to ISO/TC97/SC2 for approval as international Standards.
Research in information methodology, and in the theory and practice of library science were started years ago. There is a Section for Information Methodology in ISTIC and 12 research groups under the China Society of Library Science including those for research in fundamental theory, bibliography, classification, cataloguing, reader service, staff training, rare and ancient books, standardization, information: services, children's library and foreign library work. Some progress has been made in recent years. Scientific management, efficiency. and economic results and the application of computers in libraries and information institutes are also receiving great attention and sonic initial successes have been achieved in these respects.
In summing up past experiences and lessons, library services in China have suffered setbacks twice during the last thirty years. One was in the years of so-called "Great Leap Forward", another in the "Cultural Revolution". Both were caused by the trend of neglecting scientific management as in industry and by the influence of a depressed economy as well. There is not a slightest doubt that scientific management in China is as important as in any other country. As everybody knows, the fact that the rapid advance of science and technology produces large amounts of documents, makes it more difficult for librarians to select, collect, process, store and report, and for users to access them quickly and precisely. Only scientific management and scientific methods in addition to modern facilities can solve this problem to some extent. The library itself is an integrated system consisting of different functional departments doing different jobs. The co-ordination and co-operation between departments and jobs, and the contact between the library and users are essential for a library to fulfil its social functions or to attain its objectives; and the library services or library undertaking in this country as a whole, including different types of libraries, also from an integrated system. Centralized planning with overall consideration for healthy development, rational geographic distribution, and effective cooperation among different or same types of libraries demands the introduction of scientific ways to analyse the needs and possibilities of the economic situation as important basis for allocating funds and facilities.
From a long term point of view, it is imperative for a nation like China with so large a territory and the biggest population in the world, to establish a retrieval network which includes data bases, communication systems and terminal facilities in order that a quick and precise service can be offered to users, as in the United Kingdom and the United States. This is the aim of the modernization of the Chinese library and information services. But first of all, they must be well managed. Without good management, any resource cannot be given full play, no matter how intelligent the staff, how advanced the facilities and how large the collections.
Owing to the fact that some Chinese librarians are fully aware of their weakness and the importance of scientific management in libraries, they have been vigorously committing themselves to the study of its theory and practice in recent years. A number of seminars have been held to discuss its definition and principles, especially in the Chinese situation. Here is a -definition of scientific management based on recent discussion. It is defined as "giving full play to manpower, material and financial resources in order to raise operational efficiency and the quality of services by applying the principles and methods of modern science and technology and observing the objective laws of librarianship, for the purpose of achieving optimum social results of services". This definition includes two concepts: efficiency and the social results of service. As a matter of fact the first one is the means and methods, the second is the objective of scientific management or the objective of library services. There is a controversy about the measurement of efficiency and social results. In fact, the measurement of efficiency is possible for most of library work, e.g. the repetitive and mechanical routines such as ordering, cataloguing, cards filing, binding, circulation and shelving. But social results are more difficult to measure. The satisfaction of users and the application of new technology or the improvement of education and culture in localities may be generally regarded as social results of library services. Cost and profit cannot generally be taken as criteria to measure the performance of libraries as they are for business, but these factors must be taken into consideration for good management.
As far as scientific management itself is concerned, this means good planning, rationalization and standardization of library work and documentation It also involves highly organized activities relating to administrative, professional, personnel and equipment management, such as planning, organizing, stalling, budgeting and directing.
Scientific management in Chinese libraries and information services is ideally characterized by the following principles.
(1) The Principle of Centralization and Unification
China is a country with a planned economy. The development of her industry, agriculture and all other public services is carried out in a planned way. Therefore, the expansion of library and information services in this country cannot go beyond the ability or remain behind the needs of her economy. It is necessary to give overall consideration to the priority and geographic distribution of different libraries in order to make the best use of limited resources such as funds, manpower and facilities, to organize a rational national network and technically to realize standardization and unification of library work and documentation such as classification, cataloguing and automation for sharing resources nation-wide.
(2) The Principle of Democracy
Staff and some users expect to be asked to speak their views or make suggestions in the process of policy making, decision making and planning. There are two ways to do so in practice. The authorities make the draft or outline of a plan first, and then consult staff and sometimes users. This way is called "From top to bottom". Otherwise, staff and sometimes users, are asked to discuss first. Then, the authorities concerned summarize their suggestions and ideas as a basis for drawing up their plan or making decision. This is called the "from bottom to top" method in policy making. Sometimes, these processes go through several times from top to bottom or from bottom to top before a decision is made if it is not urgent. Moreover, staff and users are encouraged to make complaints or suggestions at any time in the process of carrying out of a plan or a policy in order to correct unexpected errors and mistakes because of the changing situation or carelessness when making this plan and policy. Democratic management helps the authorities overcome subjectivism and bureaucracy and inspires staff enthusiasm, initiative and creativity because their personality and opinions are respected. In addition, problems can be found and solved in a timely way. Relations between management and stair are improved and the ties between library, users and society at large are thereby strengthened.
(3) The Principle of Economic Results
Unlike business, libraries are non-profit-making institutions. It is difficult to measure their economic results in the from of unit cost and profit. However, it is possible for libraries to use their funds as economically its possible, assign staff tasks as rationally as possible and utilize facilities as effectively as possible. It is also possible to establish a series of optimum systems fur literature collection, storage and service, and to formulate some rules and regulations that serve the needs of these systems with the aim of costing less money to get more documents that users need most, taking less people and time to process more documents and providing users with better service. The waste of human energy, money, time and material resources is incompatible with the principles of scientific management and must be lessened or totally avoided if possible.
(4) The System of Personal Responsibility
The social functions and relations of library with society were never so important as they are today. Society supports libraries, libraries serve society. The quality of library services directly affects both users and the whole of society. Conversely, social needs or users' needs also promote library services. Therefore, elaborate division of labour, and frequent contact and mutual dependence between departments are very important in order to offer a better service to society. Jobs in each department and in each link of an operation must be done well. That means that everyone must be sensible of his responsibility and get his or her job done on time, in the required quantity and quality. This responsibility system, like the one used in business provides standard to assess the performance of staff and the departments and enhances their sense of responsibility in work. A better management and service can thus be achieved in the end.
The above principles are general guides or aims to be sought for better management in library and information services. As for tire present situation so far, it is not quite the case yet. There are still a lot of things to do before reaching these aims.
SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT OF CHINESE LIBRARY SERVICES
In comparison with other countries, planning and management in Chinese library services do have some strong points, but on the whole, the managerial level is relatively low as it is in industry and for the same reasons. Some. factors which affect the efficiency of library services should be improved in order to serve the information and education needs of this country and at the same time modernized library services themselves.
(1) Geographic Distribution
For historical reasons, there are more libraries providing better services in big cities and economically developed areas than that in rural and remote areas. It is incredible that some counties even have no library services at all. Irrational distribution of libraries is of course a common problem in many other countries, and it was riot so urgent to solve this problem some years back in China because the needs for information and education in rural and remote areas were very small. Things are quite different nowadays. The new economic policies for industry and especially for agriculture, stimulate economic development in these areas. People are becoming well off and want to learn. Small rural factories need information for technical transformation and innovation in order to increase the quantity and improve the quality of products or change the line of their products to some which may be more profitable. Peasants need information and knowledge for scientific farming. Scientific and technical books and other materials are in great demand and hard to get in many rural areas. People call this situation "science fever" which could riot be seen before. It is reported that many peasants invited experts from their neighbouring areas or professors from colleges to transfer technology, or attended technical seminars and "technical fairs" themselves sponsored by local authorities. From a long term viewpoint, perhaps, the more effective and economical way to satisfy the information and education needs in rural areas is to improve library services. The general accepted LA standards for the provision of branch libraries are that: a population of under 1500 in a catchment area is usually better served by a mobile library; an isolated population of over 1500 normally needs a trailer library, sub-branch or branch library; in urban areas a branch should be provided in each major shopping centre. China is unable to reach these standards at present, but can do her best to improve the county central library service and at the same time to provide branch libraries in most districts and sub-branches, or mobile libraries or reading rooms of some sort at some town level grass roots. Agriculture is of vital importance in China's economy, arid about 80% of her population are peasants living in rural areas. No one in China can afford to neglect their demand if he wishes to see agriculture well developed and enough food to feed the 1000 million people or to tap the resources in remote areas. The provision of library services must be taken into consideration by the local leadership in those areas where there are still no such services, when planning overall development in their localities. The central library authorities, on the other hand should urge the local authorities to give enough financial arid manpower support to the establishment of library services.
(2) Regional CO-operation
Organizationally, China has already had a national library network consisting of different types of libraries. The problem is that these libraries lack close cooperation with information services, between different or even similar types of libraries, especially on a regional scale. The tasks of information services in China's situation differ from that of library services in some respects, and each type of library has its own tasks and objectives. However, their co-operation on a regional scale is very important to improve the. efficiency arid quality of services and to utilize resources in a more economical way. The United Kingdom arid some other countries have set some examples in library cooperation. Their experience is helpful for China in projecting regional networks and co-operation with Beijing National Library and ISTIC as backups like the British Library's position and functions in Britain. Regional co-operation including acquisition, cataloguing, staff training and resources sharing between libraries and information services would be organized, with provincial arid county public libraries arid local information institutes as centres. Some libraries, for instance university libraries, may have their own co-operation, like those in Changsha, Hunan Province in recent years. It should be emphasized that for a country with the biggest population in the world, regional and local networks arid co-operation in China are more important than in any other countries. Users should first rely, on their local libraries, then central libraries in this region. National centres are the last resort. Therefore, the collection of regional central libraries should be relatively large and comprehensive according to local conditions and needs, and regional union catalogues containing holdings of the participating libraries should be prepared for this purpose. and for avoiding duplication of labour. Regional co-operation is the infrastructure of national co-operation and the basis of library modernization. China should exert much effort in the establishment of regional co-operation in order to make the best use of her resources and to modernize her library services.
(3) National Referral Services
On the basis of regional library co-operation and regional information networks which already exist, two national referral centres should be established according to the actual existing situation: one mainly for monographs on social sciences and natural sciences as well in the Beijing National Library and one mainly for scientific and technical serials in ISTIC in order to improve the exploitation of existing resources nationwide. In doing that, the preparation of the national bibliography, catalogues of different types of literature and regional union catalogues should be hastened. Abstracts and indexes, other retrieval and reference books and directories published at home and abroad should be collected as comprehensively, as possible. At present, referral services are offered only, by. mail or by personal visits. It is quite possible technically and economically, now for China to carry out these services by, direct telephone and ISTI links with big libraries and local information institutes. When conditions are ripe, these two centres will be national data bases for automatic retrieval equipped with computers linked through telecommunication systems with terminals all over the country. It is recommended that the centre in ISTIC also provide a business information service for the needs of foreign trade and economic cooperation with foreign companies. Local information centres should provide local product arid market information. For tins purpose, market research reports, company cards, trade and professional directories, trade and business journals from major developed countries and business publications published at home should be collected, and specialists for guiding the use of these publications should be trained.
(4) Open Access and Opening Hours
Because of management problem and the fear of the loss of books, open access is still not popular in most libraries and information institutes except for periodicals, newspapers and children's books. Experiences have repeatedly proved that open access is the best way to facilitate users' needs and exploit literature resources. Rare books, valuable editions and manuscripts and some other materials are not suitable for open shelves. Open access to standard materials, patent literature and trade literature has been carried out in ISTIC libraries in recent years. Monographs and technical proceedings, research reports in big libraries such as Beijing National Library and ISTIC are difficult for open access, because the shelving is arranged by accession numbers or serial numbers, riot by subjects for saving the trouble of reshelving resulting from the huge daily intake of publications. Nevertheless, this call be done in medium and small size libraries, especially ill university libraries, school libraries and local public libraries.
As for opening hours, the internationally accepted standards for
urban main libraries are 60 hours per week; for branch libraries 18-60 hours per
week. Urban libraries and information institute libraries in China open only
eight hours a day, 48 hours per week. No services are available on Sundays and
national holidays. Children's libraries arid rural libraries usually open on
Sundays. It is recommended that science libraries and urban public libraries
with science open 10 hours a day, 60 hours per week. Opening hours for
information documentation centres and university libraries may be longer
depending on the users' real needs, and if' possible, board and accommodation
should be provided for those who cannot get home on the day of a visit.
ISTIC Chongqing Branch Library has offered this service for several years. Other libraries should do the same if necessary and conditions permit.
(5) Publicily and Users' Survey
Besides reporting Journals, exhibitions arid lectures, guides and pamphlets about each kind of service and how to gain access to them and other information should be published in libraries and information centres. This is not only for the convenience of the users, but would also save much trouble for the staff and as a result, would save time for both users and stall'. Publicity relating to user service is a weak point ill Chinese library arid information services. Most libraries do not even have a sheet of printed material for presentation to users and foreign visitors. Compare this with some other countries where libraries, even smaller ones, provide various types of pamphlets free of charge explaining their services and holdings. The results are good. Users feel quite at home, especially fresh visitors and timid users who are not confident about what to do. Publicity is very important in user services arid each library should have someone in charge of this work.
Surveys and investigations on users' needs and the level of satisfaction by existing services should be carried out regularly by specialists ill order to improve the quality of services. Little has been done about this to date in most Chinese libraries and information centres. This kind of survey is very necessary and should he done by various means such as telephone, questionnaires, individual correspondence or even personal interview.
When this is done, library policies and plans will be built on a more realistic foundation. Better services can then be achieved.
(6) Library Education
The fact that China lacks qualified librarians is serious, especially in local libraries. This situation can perhaps be illustrated by the following statistics. Among 100000 library staff in 20000 libraries, only 3000 graduates were from the Departments of Library Science of Beijing University and Wuhan University and another 1500 persons had received correspondence courses by the end of 1980 since 1949. This figure accounts for a very small proportion of the total staff, not more than 5% on the average even in university and science libraries and public libraries above provincial level. Eighty-one percent of the stair began working in libraries just during or after the "Cultural Revolution" (1966-76). Eighty percent among them only had middle school education. On the other hand, quite a few technicians and research workers do not quite know how to use the library to search for documents. Of course, many staff can become professionals by training and working practice, and users get familiar with the use of the library by frequent visits or by the guidance of the staff. However, the lack of systematic library education and training for the stair would inevitably affect the efficiency of operation and the quality of services and for the users, the effective search for useful documents and literatures or other materials for the purpose of reference and education or entertainment.
Happily, the central authorities have done something to change this situation in recent years. For example, there are already 19 universities and colleges having departments or specialities of library and archive studies. Wuhan University even has a speciality of information science in the Department of Library Science. Correspondence courses continue to be given to some stair. On-the-job and off-the-job training in Beijing National Library, ISTIC and other big libraries has been continuous except during the. years of "Cultural Revolution". The guide for users was improved recently. This is really encouraging, but not enough for a country like China with so many libraries and staff. A radical solution to this problem would be to enhance library education. It is recommended firstly that one or two colleges of library and information science be set up for undergraduates as well as postgraduates to do research in order to supply libraries and information institutes with qualified librarians and staff and to raise the academic level of librarianship and information science. Secondly, all college and university undergraduates, science undergraduates in particular, should be given library and courses in order to make them ready to use library and information services when they become users, especially after graduation.
(7) Personnel Management
For librarians and library stair, as part of the Chinese intellectual stratum, their social position was low, and their labour was not fully understood by society sometimes in the past. Things are getting much better now, their contributions to society are generally acknowledged and appreciated by both people and government. However, present personnel management is not conducive to bringing stair initiative and creativity into full play. Most stair are not quite satisfied with the existing cadre system, promotion and salary systems. For example, officially there are four conditions for stair promotion and salary increment: education, length of service and experience, professional ability and contribution or performance. Generally speaking, it sounds good. In fact it is very complicated to implement. Most leaders used to emphasize the second one, i.e. the length of service and experience, because it is easy to measure and saves labour and argument. This "iron rice bowl" (job security) and "big pot rice" (equalitarianism) system are accepted by many people because the assessment system for stair performance is far from perfect. For quite a long time, be red and expert" was supposed to be the lofty realm of accomplishment and the only standard for a perfect librarian, as for other intellectuals. Actually, "be red" was always overemphasized and distorted while "be expert neglected or even criticized. Today, this slogan is given some new meanings and some more concrete standards are adopted for evaluating the performance of stair.
Following the reform in economic areas, a reform is about to be carried in libraries and information institutes. In the context of library and information services, this reform should, firstly, change step by step the life-tenure system of leadership into an election system, at least partly, so that more younger professionals may have the opportunity to play their parts and make their contributions in management positions. Non-professionals and aged leaders should conscientiously give up their posts to younger ones for the interest of the country. Secondly, the state assignment system should, at least partly, be replaced by a recruitment system so that the quality of staff can be controlled. Their specialities can thus be matched to the job and more willingness they will give to their assignments thereby. Thirdly, working regulations and the personnel assessment system should be improved and perfected. For instance, the following factors should be considered in personnel assessment: professional knowledge, professional skill, managerial ability, working attitude, service quality and achievement. Quality of service and achievement or working results would be always put into first place so as to encourage people to work hard and learn well. This assessment should be done in some cases by examinations, or by colleague appraisal with reference to work records. The appraisal of the leading person which in most cases is crucial and decisive should be. as fair and impartial as possible without personal prejudice and discrimination. Proper material and spiritual reward is necessary for those who have good performances. When this is done, staff enthusiasm will be inspired and no or less complaints will be found then.
(8) A Library Act
Many countries in the world have formulated library acts and practised them for many years. China does not yet have one. The history of library development has proved that it library act is very necessary and important for the healthy development and the perfection of library services. China should by all means have a library act to stipulate legislatively the principles, social functions, financial sources, scope of activities and the forms of services of libraries; the natures and functions of the library committee and the system of leadership and administration and their tasks so that library position and development can be guaranteed by law. For instance, library services in China were always the first ones to have their funds cut and the last ones to have their funds increased in the past. Some local governments never allocate enough funds for local libraries. This situation would not have happened if there had been a library act, or at least things would not have been so bad.
The implementation of a library act, on the other hand, reflects government concern about people's welfare and their rights to enjoy education and entertainment. It also reflects the level of the development of library services of a country.
China is very aware of her current weaknesses in management both in industry and in library and information services. The existing management systems do not quite fit the new Situation created by the modernization drive. The current reform of economic systems and technical transformation, the new economic policies at home and the open-door policies towards the outside world require it reform in management systems and a lot of managers with both theoretical background and practical experience of management. Just for this end, 1-6 out of 7 million leading cadres, managers and technicians in industrial and communication departments have received management training during the past three years, which includes economic policies, basic economic theories and fundamental techniques of business management. In addition, the China Society of Management was set up, the Journal of Management has appeared and a number of academic conferences on management were held during the same period. Considerable attention is also being devoted to foreign management techniques. While sending some people to study abroad, an industrial, scientific and technical training centre was jointly inaugurated in 1980 by China and the United States in Dalian, Northeast China. Many leading cadres of libraries and information institutes have been trained at this centre. These training programmes will help library and information services improve management techniques, raise the quality of service to society, and provide a major impetus to the modernization of library and information services as well as to the nation.
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